Opportunities

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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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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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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OHBD Local Ready Set Go Books Lead, Yoseph Ayalew, Shares A Passion for Education in Ethiopia

I’ve always followed my passion rather than running after money. So when it comes to work that matters, non-profit jobs offer the opportunity to be a part of something that will profoundly impact society. That is why I joined Open Heart Big Dreams. Ethiopian children want to read a good story, but with the lack …

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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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