Ideas

Only In Ethiopia – So many animals, birds and more to explore in books.

Thirty-one mammals are found only in Ethiopia. Amazing creatures are tucked away in the many eco-regions of the country that has such varied terrain: mountains, plateaus, river valleys, deserts, lakes, and rivers that allow for the survival of animals that can’t be spotted anywhere else in the world. As one example, the Ethiopian wolf – …

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Open Hearts Big Dreams – Five Years into the Organizational Journey

In 2016, I started the process of taking Open Hearts Big Dreams from the fundraising event we started in 2011 to a full-fledged not-for-profit. I was inspired by our amazing daughter and the opportunities we saw to contribute after funding and expanding a library in her birth-town of Bahir Dar (pictured here). That year was …

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Why Do I Volunteer for OHBD? From our Creative Lead, Author Jane Kurtz

In a study published last year in the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers looked at data from nearly 70,000 subjects and concluded that volunteers were happier. People who start out at a lower level of well-being seem to get even more benefit from volunteering. But I don’t need a study to tell me that volunteer …

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OHBD Board Member, Threads Founder, Kara Valentine Shares Women’s Impact & a GREAT DEAL!!

In September of 2015, I had the pleasure of connecting with Ellenore. Our work with our then corporate jobs initially brought us together but our shared passion for creating opportunities for women and children in Ethiopia (and beyond) kept us working in partnership over the last 6 years.  I was honored to be offered a …

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RSG Readers Reflect: Phoben Alemayehu on lessons from RSG title, “The Lost Son”

I want to thank Open Hearts Big Dreams for giving me this chance. I am Phoben Alemayehu and I’m 13 years old and in grade 7. I got the chance to read a book entitled, The Lost Son, written by Finote Wongel and illustrated by Alemayehu Regassa, who is my father. I learned a lot …

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Open Hearts Big Dreams Builds Connections That Bring A Book About COVID-19 To Ethiopian Families

Sharing interests. Enriching skills. Building friendships. Discovering connections. If someone had told me there was an organization that would provide all of these enriching experiences—as well as help families around the world understand the pandemic—I wouldn’t have believed them.  “What an over-promise!” I would have said. “How can one organization do all that?”  Truth is, …

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Become a Book Ambassador and Bring Stories of Ethiopia to Readers Everywhere

When my first picture books were finally published—stories I had heard as a child in Ethiopia—I woke up to the reality that the artistic journey (already agonizingly hard) had barely begun. I realized it was up to librarians, teachers, and other book ambassadors to put my stories into the hands of young readers. It was …

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Building on Mike Carr’s Legacy – A Role Model for Inclusion and Equity

I am still in denial that my dear friend has left this existence. I log on to Facebook expecting a funny, insightful, thought-provoking, or uplifting post. His range was impressive – from sports to music, politics to cooking, or tv shows to technology. It seems impossible that there will be no more of these treats …

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