Ideas

OHBD Language Preservation – Dizin Children’s Books for Maji Ethiopia: “an amazing treasure”

How do we do it—pull meaning from symbols on paper, or from bits of light and dark in flickering electric impulses? This miracle is called reading. I learned to read in Maji, in deep southern Ethiopia. My mother taught me in my own childhood language of English. As I filled workbooks at our dining room …

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Creating OHBD RSG Books to Enhance Reading Comprehension Skills

Learning to decode words — transforming marks on a page (or screen) into sounds in our brains — is one big reading skill. Learning to read those words fluently in sentences is another. The Creative Team considers those skills as we create Ready Set Go Books. But other skills are needed for understanding the sentences …

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Preserving a Rare Ethiopian Language for the Anuak People of Gambella

My educational journey started in Gambella, Ethiopia where I was born. Growing up, I never had nongovernmental printed Anuak books. The school provided textbooks which we always returned at the end of each year. Since the schools couldn’t afford to print new copies each year, we were always given the same recycled books. It’s only …

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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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