I am currently in my 2nd year of graduate school, pursuing a Master's degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Change from Pepperdine University. (Social Entrepreneurship in a nutshell is finding ways to create positive social change through a business model). I care about helping others, raising awareness about social issues, being a lifelong learner, and leaving this world a better place.
In November, I will be traveling to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the world's oldest, as well as one of the poorest, countries.
- About 1/3 of the population lives in abject poverty (World Bank)
- 49% of the population is under the age of 18 (Camfield, Griffin & Tekola, 2009)
Poverty contributes to many of Ethiopia's devastating issues as well as perpetuates them. Individuals who are disabled, specifically deaf, who live in poverty and in rural areas tend to receive no services and are very much at risk and are neglected. Female children who are deaf and poor are considered to suffer from a triple handicap. Ethiopians who are deaf are often stigmatized. Some Ethiopians believe they are possessed by the devil and must be cured by witchcraft or purifying waters (Kiyaga & Moores, 2003).
When I travel to Ethiopia I will be working with the Sign Language Training and Social Service Association (SLTSSA) & Mekanissa School for the Deaf, advocating for deaf rights in the community. SLTSSA's vision is to make sure that the rights of deaf children and adolescents are recognized throughout Ethiopia. Their mission is to focus attention on the prevention of deafness and to implement programs to integrate deaf children and adolescents, giving them the opportunity to take part in society on an equal footing with everyone else. They established the first school for the deaf in Ethiopia in 1963 as well as developed Ethiopian Sign Language.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Help me get to Ethiopia to support this important work and gain knowledge from those who have dedicated their lives to making a difference for all children and adults who are deaf in Ethiopia.
- Donate to the campaign. Any donation, no matter how big or small, helps!
- Pray for the organizations, SLTSSA and Mekanissa School for the Deaf, and the children and adolescents benefiting from their advocacy, programs and school
- Pray for my international experience, for safety, for continued growth and openness, and that I can be useful to the organizations that I work with
COST- Your donation will be used towards:
$1,200 - Flight (AMAZING DEAL, thank you Cadence Travel/Rosenkrantz's!)
$700 - Accommodation Fee & Trip Coordinator Fee ($350/week)
$70 - Ethiopian Visa
$280 - Polaroid Camera and Film (printable photos to give to kids!)
$700 - Misc. Travel Expenses (food, vaccinations, fees, translator tips, etc)
**If you would like to contribute by check instead of credit card, please message me for details. It will still count towards my goal!
As many of you know, Faith is at the core of who I am. As I continue to explore my God-given desire to serve, help, and love others, I am reminded that I am called to do more than just live for myself.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." Proverbs 31: 8-9 (NLT)
I'm thankful God has allowed me to have the opportunity to go back to Africa and to work with two Christian organizations. Both SLTSSA and the Mekanissa School for the Deaf are Christian organizations founded as part of the Church of Christ Mission and are partially supported by the churches of Christ in Ethiopia and America.
As I mentioned earlier, I will be taking my Blog out of retirement for this international experience. In 2009, I started my first blog when I went to Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. I hope to update it daily when I'm in Ethiopia (although this is highly dependent on internet accessibility). To check out my first life-changing experience in Africa and follow me through this one, please save this link: http://brittanychinlee.blogspot.com/
Thank you for walking alongside me in my journey to find meaningful work and for being a part of this campaign whether through donations, prayers or support!
Thank You! I am grateful for your support and friendship!
Camfield, L., Griffin, C., & Tekola, B. (2009). Using qualitative methods with poor children in urban Ethiopia: Opportunities & challenges. Social Indicators Research, 90(1), 73-87. DOI: 10.1007/s11[phone redacted]-9
Kiyaga, N. B., & Moores, D. F. (2003). Deafness in Sub-Saharan Africa. American Annals of the Deaf, 148(1), 18-24.
World Bank. (2013). Ethiopia overview. Retrieved from http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ethiopia/overview
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