October 23, 2017

I have volunteered for Redemption Song Foundation for the last two years and it was the name that triggered my connection to the cause in the first place. Named after one of Bob Marley’s songs, Redemption Song, RSF aims to emancipate or free “conservation refugees” from poverty and destitution. As a refugee living in Sweden, Wendee’s mission inspired me, and that is why I am a part of RSF’s volunteer team.

​After finishing my undergraduate​​ study with a major in Sociology and Social Administration 16 years ago I had worked for about 7 years helping vulnerable people and groups in my home country, Ethiopia. 

In 2008 I decided to change my career to environmental communication and came to Sweden to earn a Master of Science degree with a major in Environmental Communication at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.  I returned home in 2010 and worked for 5 years helping local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) preparing project proposals...

September 25, 2017

The child on our website who first captured our director Wendee’s attention through the camera lens has recently lost a sponsor for his schooling.  We are looking for someone who is willing to help further Beckham’s education by sponsoring him. This means you will get to write to him, share photos of yourself or your family, and he will write back! 

We have 2 sponsorship levels. The first level involves a recurring donation of $45 per month or a one-time payment of $500 per year – as a thank you, we will send you a free handmade basket made by your child’s mother.  For those who want a lower option, you can pay $25 per month or $300 per year.

These funds pay for school uniforms, shoes, school supplies, administration costs – which include paying for our all-Ugandan staff and phone and internet costs – as well as our weekly educational soup kitchen.

Beckham attends RSF's brand new Hope Stone Academy for Batwa kids, and with small classes and individualized attention, we will give thes...

February 27, 2017

Last month, we installed the clean water system you helped fund, and we now have sponsors for all 16 of the Kalehe Batwa kids. It feels great, but now our bank account is depleted... Operating on a shoestring budget is not easy!  We didn't raise sponsorship fees this year (but we really need to),  can you help us in this pinch by donating $20, $50 or $100 to our "Free Our Minds" Education Fund (That's from a line from Bob Marley's Redemption Song... "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, only ourselves can free our minds"). 

We need to raise $6000 in a short time, and the funds will go towards:

* Expanding the Educational Soup Kitchen to twice weekly. This helps the younger kids who attend the local school get better nutrition plus supplemental education. These kids are not performing as well as the boarders, so I really want to help give them a boost. 

* Supplementing our sponsorship program by allowing parents to visit their kids each term, having...

November 29, 2016

Look at that smile! I've been blessed beyond words to befriend sweet Beckham and to watch him grow up and thrive before my eyes. He entered school late last year with his younger brother. They sometimes come over on Sunday mornings and I find them peering in my window, standing on their tippie toes. This photo of Beckham (with Shivan in my room shows his gigantic smile. His emotions are so big. When he's sad, he tries to hide it but he can't--I can see it in his eyes and quiet tears. When he's happy his smile lights up the whole room! He has the most adorable giggle and his super ticklish. He's learning simple English-they teach it in the schools, and of course I teach them-and loves to copy the English words I say like 'yukky' and 'poopoo.' :) 


Having him and the family in my life is such a blessing.

Another reminder: It's Cyber Monday and the 15% off (GIVING15 coupon code) is still good today and tomorrow.

We want to give Beckham and his whole village Clean Water for Christmas!!! If on...

November 21, 2016

We want to give Beckham & his whole village Clean Water for Christmas!! If only 400 people donate $20 by then, we will exceed our end goal of $7500, so we can give his Batwa village this life saving gift. We have joined the international Giving Tuesday (Nov 29) movement, a day of Giving back, after the Black Friday shop-til-you-drop and Cyber-Monday.

September 5, 2015

IT’S BEEN SO HARD TO KEEP THIS SECRET - RSF recorded the Kalehe Batwa dancing and chanting and holding signs for this super cool and very important video with world-famous musicians and climate activists to promote the upcoming UN climate conference in Paris. It released yesterday – the Batwa are at the very end [after credits] dancing and singing. Thanks to my RSF staff member Kim for recording it. 

http://lovesongtotheearth.org/


From press release: "A chorus of superstar voices—including Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Fergie, Sean Paul, and Colbie Caillat—join forces on this inspirational pop anthem. All proceeds from each sale of the single featured on this page will be donated to Friends of the Earth U.S. and the United Nations Foundation.”

“In addition to the song’s release, Executive Director Jerry Cope, has also produced and co-directed a “lyric video” premiering September 11, which will feature breathtaking film from around the world by award-winning cinematographer L...

February 11, 2014

We got the bridge finished today: our first project from the RSF Batwa Artisan Co-op funds! We built a bridge across the Munyaga River, so kids and adults alike don't have to wade across. The kids sometimes come to my house, which is just across the river from Karehe village on the mountain, soaked up to their necks... it's about a foot deep NOW, and in the rainy season gets much deeper. This is a safety issue, and a convenience issue. There's another way down the hill and across the river with a bridge, but it's about a half-mile across Karehe village. We started Monday, working with one carpenter and the entire Batwa village. Even the women helped carry the logs and the timber. (We plan to plant new trees to replace the ones we harvested). I am truly proud of this community coming together to work on this bridge, as many have said the Karehe Batwa dont work together, they drink too much, they have too many issues. I believe in them, and they are believing in themselves, and hopefully...

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