Special Needs, Special Opportunity

Special Needs, Special Opportunity

We have some students whose stories Muday could not overlook when they approached the school. Muday created Fresh and Green Academy to help children who need it the most, and that is why these kids were taken into the school, even though they need more resources than normal to succeed. While many of our children suffered in their early years from malnutrition, and the debilities that come with that, several of them faced even more frightening challenges: hydrocephalus, blindness, paraplegia and emotional scars.

A boy named Yesuna was brought to the school because his mother wanted to abandon him. He had been neglected since birth after his mother could not afford to feed him. He was left in their hovel while his mother waited for him to die, and malnutrition made him blind, deaf and unresponsive. He has a severe mental disability. He is too weak to walk or even sit up. But Muday would not abandon him.

Through daily care for over 2 years, Yesuna is coming back. Turns out he is not deaf after all, and responds to music and clapping. His caregivers have applied physiotherapy methods and he now has the strength to sit up on his own. He can now communicate his most basic needs, but cannot speak.

Yesuna has almost constant attention, from his caregivers to be sure, but from his schoolmates as well! A television is kept in his room and his friends come to be with him and watch TV. And this is one of the real benefits of having these students in the community: these kids learn to build people with special needs into their own lives! Everybody lends a hand when needed.

We need your help! Can you help sponsor one of our special needs kids through the Friendship Club program? We have created a special category for this initiative and you will be sure to get progress reports from your Friend along the way.

Become a Friendship Club member!

Return to #StillWithThem #GivingTuesday

#WalkForThem Spring Fashion Show Fundraiser

Friends came together for our stunning and exciting #WalkForThem Fashion Show in New York City on May 20th. Our volunteer models, mothers and daughters all, raised nearly $7,000 for Fresh and Green Academy! A great thank-you also for the talented volunteers who put the show together, and of course all of our donors and sponsors who have given us new resources to keep our 235 students in school!

Models proudly showed fashions made by our Mothers Cooperative at the school. Our guests were entertained by Mike DiRubbo’s Jazz Trio who immediately left for a tour of Czech Republic. Patrons were treated to a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony hosted by Executive Director Sosina Mulugeta Gebreyesus.

If you are interested in purchasing fashions from the Mothers Cooperative, please visit our Etsy store by clicking here.

There is still time to donate to the event. Thanks for supporting #WalkForThem!

Dancing with the Stews West Coast has Started!

Dancing with the Stews West Coast has Started!

The Show has started in Southern California! Our Flight Attendants and their professional dance partners are training for our 4th Annual 2016 “Dancing With the Stews” fundraiser!

 

Joining us this year:

The Marvin Glover Band

and

 Artist and humanitarian Milica Kennedy Kastner will be presented with Friends of Fresh and Green Academy’s highest honor,

The Emissary of Excellence Award

In association with Sea Sand Entertainment

Join our dancers:

Lam Nguyen & Jeff White
Jutem Lee & Ron Wild
Brian Nguyen & Merle Morgan

Mark the Date: May 13, 2016 at 7:00 PM Mark the Place: Dance Revolution – 6626 Valjean Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406 (map below) The evening’s festivities include a VIP Reception, silent auction, a Dance Showcase and live music with…

MarvinGloverLogo

    Tickets can be purchased in advance online for $85 General Admission and $200 VIP ($175 before May 3rd), which includes a very special Reception before the show and front row table seating.

Dancing with the Stews West Coast

Become a Dancing Sensation on the stage in Southern California!
We are looking for Flight Attendant dancers (pilots welcome too) for our 4th Annual 2016 “Dancing With the Stews” fundraiser!
No dance experience necessary!

Have you ever watched that popular TV show and said “I wish I could do that”? Well now you can! Sign up below for a chance to be part of Dancing With the Stews 2016! This is just a preliminary sign-up so if you think you may be interested, don’t hesitate to fill out the form below for more information.
For a look at last year’s event, visit our You Tube Channel.
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Finalists will receive:

  • 10 hours of dance instruction with a champion Ballroom/Latin dancer
  • a pair of professional dance shoes
  • use of a professional gown or dance outfit provided by a top dance wear designer
  • that good feeling you get when you help make a difference in a child’s life (you will create your own fundraising page that will count towards your final score so you will have an opportunity to get your friends and family involved) and…
  • a chance to win the Dancing Stew Champion Mirror ball trophy and claim the title Dancing Stew Champion 2016!

Sign up today and get ready to have fun and make a difference!

The Power of Personality by Neil Jones

The Power of Personality by Neil Jones

 

How did I end up in the middle of Africa? This was not even on my radar 3 months ago. Wasn’t Ethiopia the place where they had that terrible famine when I was a kid? Surely it’s better now but why would I want to go there? The answer: personality.

The first personality I encountered was Trish Hack-Rubinstein, at a bus stop in outer San Francisco. The kind of idle conversation where somebody casually mentions that they have a Non-Profit Organization in their pocket (run largely from an iPhone). This person radiates an energy that affects everyone within speaking distance, and suddenly we are learning in leaps and bounds about Ethiopia’s history and the challenges they face.

And then a huge collection of gregarious, generous and kind-hearted personalities at a fund-raising event in New York City, and I’m hooked! I once met Mr. Munroe Ashkenase, who founded Foster Parents Plan (now Plan Canada). His favourite expression was, “I never met a man who didn’t want to help – you just had to make it easy for him.” Well these people were making it easy for me.

Just over a month later, I have navigated the customs and immigration hall of Addis Ababa airport clinging to my only clue: “Someone will be there to pick you up.” That someone was the personality that created this whole enterprise: Muday Mitiku. Constantly in motion, keeping an organization the size of a village in her head (and on her mobile phone), she is a wonder to watch. Her staff and family provide seamless support.

And finally I meet the collective personality whom I knew before only in pictures: the beautiful children who make a stranger feel like he is part of the family. The characters! The laughter! The schoolyard games! If only I spoke their language as well as they speak mine – but they will teach me, throughout the course of a week. Amharica kwanka tamari naw – I am a student of Amharic.

I am the beneficiary of the generosity of all of these personalities, these perfect hosts. That is why I do my small part to help with their challenges.