Fundraiser to help schools in Ethiopia

LEAVITTSBURG – Each March, Craig and Stacey Klotzbach organize a fundraiser that not only raises money but awareness to the need for education in Ethiopia. Craig Klotzbach, a science teacher at LaBrae High School, said a children’s festival fundraiser in its fifth year helps the River of Hope International, which works to educate children in Ethiopia.

“The money we raise will help build schools and classrooms in parts of Ethiopia. There have been schools there that we have been able to help,” he said.

The event also provided an opportunity for cultural awareness and learning of the Ethiopian culture which included jewelry, artifacts and other items.

What was also promoted is that Ethiopia is the “birthplace of coffee.”

River of Hope is a nonprofit Christian organization that provides support for the payments of school supplies and equipment for schools for the Tigray Region in northern Ethiopia.

“We want to help them to become self-sufficient,” Klotzbach said.

Information provided at the event noted facts of the African country including that the literacy rate is only 45 percent.

Klotzbach said River of Hope wants to help each school become self-sufficient so they can support themselves and provide a quality education to the children.

River of Hope was the dream of the Klotzbachs, who adopted their youngest daughter from Ethiopia in March 2007.

Their trip to Ethiopia made am impression on them, since they both have teaching degrees, they were impressed that many Ethiopians desire an education but life and survival often get in their way.

The Klotzbachs said they knew this would be an area that they could help with. They were able to connect with some missionaries in northern Ethiopia who were willing to help connect them with schools in the area.

For information, call 330-889-9480.