I would like to thank Fresh and Green Academy for an amazing life experience in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My husband, a school teacher and myself a Chiropractor, set out the summer of 2011 to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. While in Africa, I wanted to utilize my skills and passion for chiropractic and volunteer for those who do not have the luxury choosing chiropractic. After meeting Dr Salem Aklilu, the first chiropractor in Ethiopia, at a Parker seminar we were put in contact with Dr Greg Rubinstein of New York who has brought chiropractic to a primary school in Addis Ababa.
Our experience there was terrific. Muday, a wonderful Ethiopian woman who started Fresh and Green, came and picked us up at the airport and treated us like royalty. We stayed at a hotel and were picked up daily to head to the school to adjust the children. My first day at the school, I adjusted the kids and some of the moms. Spencer, my husband, spent some time in the classrooms teaching the kids the basic principles of chiropractic and health.
I was amazed by what Muday has done. She has 111 children at the school all of which come from families that can not afford for them to go to school. They are fed a healthy well balanced diet of 3 meals a day, they
get clothes, showers, teeth brushed and naps for the young ones. They learn English and all the core subjects, they even get music and art. All of this is done through donations, she unfortunately has to turn families away daily as she can not help anymore at this time. Muday’s vision is big, she has many plans for fresh and green and the children in that community.
A lot of the moms are involved with the school as well. Many coming from the streets were they have had to beg or prostitute themselves in order to feed their children. Muday has the moms cook the meals, do laundry, make crafts and learn how to support their families.
The children were so excited for their adjustments, lining up and looking through the window with anticipation. I loved that Dr Gregg had been at the school 3 times in the past few years and I was continuing on his work. The more the people in the community see the Chiropractor as someone that can help their body heal themselves, the healthier they will become. The children are so fortunate to be receiving
great nutrition, clothing, chiropractic and education. These children could be the ones who help Ethiopia become a better country to live in. As BJ Palmer once said, “You never know how something you may say think or do may affect the lives of millions tomorrow”.
My experience at Fresh and Green Academy will always be remembered. Many of my patients donated spare change in their pockets before I left and we ended up collecting enough to help Muday buy uniforms for the children in September. We are also sponsoring a child to continue her schooling. I would recommend for anyone to volunteer at Fresh and Green Academy, you won’t regret it.
Dr. Christie MacDonald
- Adjusting the children helps their bodies better fight disease.
Our “Third Annual Poker/Casino Night” fundraiser was a huge success. Over 100 people were in attendance at Connolly’s Pub NYC and a great time was had by all. The top three poker players and top two blackjack players took home thousands of dollars worth of prizes which included, Broadway show tickets, 2012 US Open tickets, Mets VIP tickets, year long house cleaning service, gym memberships, a private wine tasting party and helicopter rides to name a few. We raffled off a Marc Jacobs handbag, wine, and vacation packages. We also sold the Mothers Cooperative crafts and raised awareness of the need to
We raffled off a Marc Jacobs handbag, wine, and vacation packages. We also sold the Mothers Cooperative crafts and raised awareness of the need to insure Fresh and Green Academy continues to grow and thrive.
A special Thanks goes out to the committee members, volunteers and sponsors, without them the event would not have been possible.
Sponsors: Fitch Group, United Print Group, Marc Jacobs, Van Cleef and Arpels, 57th Street Chiropractic and Wellness, Dirty 2 Purdy, Robert Essel Photography, Mr. Dana Matthow, Jeff King LMT, Americana Tickets, Laurie Towers, Lloyd Goldsmith Fine Art, Harvey Luckman – Sport and Classic Auto Repair, Gold’s Gym, Christine Zona, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boqueria Tapas Bar and Restaurant, Carnegie Hall, McGee’s Pub, Big Daddy’s, City Crab, Dukes, Georgette Williams LMT, Stacey Rosenberger, Ashok Sinha Photography, Kennedy’s, Natural History Museum, Dr. Rich Goldstein, Dara Manuel – Young Living, Crema, Dyker Beach Golf Course, Kate Hildebrandt – Structural Integration Rolfing
Volunteers and Committee Members: Charity Baker, Antoinette Bates, Dana Burnell, Pryor Callaway, Vivi Chestnut, Kati Curtis, Clarissa Feldman, Conner Hafner, Sojourner McBride, Mike Parng, Elyse Pasquale, Dr. Jason Piken, Craig Rosen, Jason Rubinstein, Peggy Shaw, Ed Soh, Jennifer Thai, John Winter, Jo Ann Wood
View Photos Here!
Thank you to all who were in attendance.
We look forward to an event next year!
It is not too late to donate!
Friends of Fresh and Green Academy board members Trish Hack-Rubinstein, Gregg Rubinstein, Lyuba Halkyn, and International Foodie and Writer, Elyse Pasquale spent the week of April 24, 2011 with the amazing children at Fresh and Green Academy. The group arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia the evening before Easter, an important holiday for the Ethiopian Orthodox population. Orthodox ceremonies and festivities took place throughout the night and into the day of Easter.
At the start of the school week the board consulted with Ms. Muday Mitiku, director of Fresh and Green Academy, about the immediate needs of the school and its students. Construction of a new bathroom facility, which includes a separate boys and girls restroom, was a top priority and approved. The former bathroom facility was substandard and dilapidated. New facility construction began immediately after board approval. A team of eight to ten donkeys brought supplies to the school mounted on their backs lead by their herder. “It was such an unusual sight for us, as Westerners, to see how a construction project is actually implemented in a developing nation in a local community of a capital city,” stated Lyuba Halkyn. The new bathroom facility was complete by the end of the week.
Throughout the week, Dr. Gregg Rubinstein, Chiropractor, spent time with the children, their mothers, Fresh and Green Academy staff, and other locals who heard of his expertise. He performed Chiropractic Adjustments in addition to explaining aspects of overall health and wellness.
The children at Fresh and Green Academy continue to develop and demonstrate that they love to learn and flourish in their school environment. They enjoy playing games with the volunteers and are always eager to show off their written assignments and their verbal knowledge of educational and creative material. The visiting group joined in and participated in Ethiopian children’s games and taught the children some common games played in the U.S. By the end of the week the children of Fresh and Green Academy requested Western games, such as the Hokey Pokey and Follow the Leader, during times of free play.
The second and third graders attend a music class several times a week, in which a very talented music instructor teaches them how to play keyboards in addition to a more technical aspect of music theory. The music teacher assists the children to demonstrate their knowledge of the material presented, and inspires their musical creativity.
The visiting volunteers took pictures of each child with a Polaroid sticker camera and made cards for each of them to take home. The children were excited to be able to have a photo of themselves, as school photos and cameras are a luxury.
At the end of the week, when it was time to return to New York, the group regretted saying goodbye to the children. “It is always difficult for us, as volunteers, to explain to the kids that we have been here all week and now must return to our own realities. On the flip side, knowing that I will return and visit the kids sometime later this year, makes parting a little bit easier. The children’s growth and development, thanks to an excellent educational facility and three nutritious meals provided daily by the school, aids in their overall well being,” shares Lyuba Halkyn of her experiences at Fresh and Green Academy.