Women

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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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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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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From Bread Wraps to Books: Betty Combines Her Loves of Literacy, Ethiopian Culture and Cuisine to Make A Delicious Dish for OHBD

My name is Betelhem (Betty). I moved to the USA eight years ago. I am a mother of 5 kids. Growing up, I saw my mom helping needy people. She would make food and tea and take it to a beggar who lived on the street or she would help kids from families in need. …

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