Surgical Success Stories - 6 More Surgeries! (#289 to & #294)

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Askale is 45. She is married and had nine children, seven of whom are still alive. She had her prolapse for four years and it had become quite severe. It was a long two-hour operation but she is now free from her prolapse!

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Bazora is 49. She also had nine children and six of them have survived. She is a widow and lives with two of her children. Her surgery went well and she is currently recovering well.

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Mulunesh is a widow and delivered four children, three of whom are still alive. She has suffered from prolapse for seven years and is so grateful to have this condition removed.

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Balame is married and has delivered 11 children. Nine are still living. She also has suffered from prolapse for 7 years and is now prolapse-free!

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Ayelech is a widow who has delivered eight children. Seven of her children are still alive. She has had prolapse for seven years and has now received a successful surgery.

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Marta is married and has delivered eight children. Sadly, only four are living. She has suffered from prolapse or six years. Thanks to your generosity she is now prolapse-free.

Surgical Success Stories - Nigate & Bafane (#287 & #288)

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Nigate is 55 year old and from the Gadalla area. She had ten children and sadly only three are still alive. She is widowed and lives with two of her children. She was so happy to have her surgery and had a huge grin on her face before she went to the operating room. She had suffered from her prolapse for three years before coming in to be seen.

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Bafane had six children and four are alive. She’s married and lives with her husband and one of her children. She first noticed her prolapse about 3 years ago and is now prolapse free!

Surgical Success Stories - 8 More Surgeries! (#279 to & #286)

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Elfinesh is 55 year old. She’s married and has five surviving children after giving birth to ten. She’s had severe prolapse for three years and has now had successful surgery!

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Zenebech is also 55. She is widowed and has delivered three children and two of them are still alive. She’s had her prolapse for one year and also had a successful surgery on the same day as Elfinesh.

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Sonde Wuza is 45 years old and all seven of her children that she has delivered are alive. She’s married and had been suffering for six years from her prolapse before finally seeking help. Her surgery went extremely well and she is currently home recovering.

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Tomes is 60 years old and has delivered seven children, four of whom are still alive. She’s widowed and had her prolapse for four years prior to seeking the help that she received from the doctors in Soddo.

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Talgore is 55, widowed, and has four children. She’s also suffered from her prolapse for the past four years and has now had a very successful surgery.

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Wokinesh is 45 years old and married. She gave birth to 11 children and five of them are still alive. After four years of suffering from prolapse she is now free from it. Thank you, donors!

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Dalibase is 65 years old and had her prolapse for 10 years prior seeking help. She had six children and five of them are still living. Her surgery went extremely well and she is now recovering nicely.

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Dunge is 50 years old and for the last two years had suffered from her prolapse. She had five children and three are still alive. Her surgery occurred first thing this morning and she’s resting comfortably now, free from her prolapse.

Surgical Success Stories - Beyenech, Danate & Amore (#276 to #278)

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Beyenech is 55. She has given birth to six children and four of them are still alive. She’s had prolapse for three years and has now had her successful surgery!

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Danate is 55 years old. She has had seven children and four of them are still alive. She’s also had prolapse for three years but her prolapse was significantly worse than Beyenech’s… but her surgery went extremely well, too.

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Amore is 50 years old. She has had seven children but only two of them have survived. She also had severe prolapse that she’s had for five years and like the other women is now prolapse free!

Surgical Success Stories - Yogite, Adanech & Ayelech (#273 to #275)

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Yogite is 60 and has had prolapse for four years. She’s widowed and lives with one of her five children who are still alive after she giving birth to eight. She was so so pleased to be able to come in and have her surgery performed. She feels wonderful and should be going home very soon!

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Adanech is 47 years old and married. She’s had prolapse for three years and along with some other issues . She’s had eight children and seven of them are still alive. The team at Soddo Christian Hospital were able to successfully address her prolapse and other issues . She is recovering and doing well.

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Ayelech is 50 years old and has had prolapse for two years. She has given birth to six children and four are still alive. She lives with her husband and helps on their family farm. Her surgery went particularly well and she is very pleased with the result!

Girls Empowered Through Soccer: Meet Eurgri

Eurgri's family didn't want her to play soccer.

But that was before they saw her shine.

“I used to play with my friends at school. Even then, I was always the goalie. I asked Coach Jemal, our sport teacher, to register me for the team that practices after school,” Eurgri told us when we visited her home in Harar, eastern Ethiopia.

Eurgri (centre, #1) defends the goal during a soccer tournament in Harar in June 2018 between the two girls teams that receive funding from Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia.

Eurgri (centre, #1) defends the goal during a soccer tournament in Harar in June 2018 between the two girls teams that receive funding from Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia.

None of her sisters - she has five siblings, including three sisters - play soccer. Deeply held traditions and stereotypes made Eurgri’s family fearful about what it would mean when the 14-year-old stepped onto the field. They also worried about immodest clothing.

And she didn’t have many female role models on the field to look up to.

Boys athletics far outpace the opportunities for young women in many cities, including Harar. Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia now provides funding to two girls soccer teams, including salaries for four amazing coaches. For these girls, it’s not just about soccer (or as they call it, football).

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Being part of a team allows the girls to make friends and build a community of like-minded peers. Playing on the soccer teams means nutritious snacks and meals each week - something that’s far from guaranteed in most of their homes.

And, it means the chance to hitch their dreams to a bigger goal, a hope that one day they will play soccer at a high level - maybe even on the national stage - and make enough money to pull their families out of poverty.

No one wants that more than Eurgri.

“I have a dream to play and represent my country,” she told us. “Before, we just played football. Now, we are serious. We have a training plan.”

Every day after school, she heads down to the soccer field to practice. When she goes home, she works at household tasks and homework from school. She knows she is smart, and hopes to become a doctor if she can’t make it to the big leagues.

But most nights, Eurgri wants to spend her free hours playing even more soccer.

“If I have to help my sisters, I do. Otherwise, I play soccer in the neighbourhood. Mostly, it’s with the boys. Sometimes there is a girl or two.”

Eurgri (right), a goalie on one of our soccer teams to which we donate in Harar. She is 14 years old. Her brother, 22-year-old Bahar, looks after his 5 siblings.

Eurgri (right), a goalie on one of our soccer teams to which we donate in Harar. She is 14 years old. Her brother, 22-year-old Bahar, looks after his 5 siblings.

In Eurgri’s family, it is her 21-year-old brother Bahar who looks after his five siblings. Their mother is dead and their father is not around.

Bahar said he has seen huge changes in his sister since she started playing sports.

“Here in the community, girls do not play soccer. She loves to play soccer. We tried to stop her but we couldn’t. But I have seen a lot of changes in her. I saw a change, and I saw how good she can play,” he said.

“I was very happy to see her in goal.”

How Gems & Java Inspired These Guests

Jean Wright, from New Hamburg, enjoys a day out with her friends from the Red Hat Society at Gems & Java 2019.

Jean Wright, from New Hamburg, enjoys a day out with her friends from the Red Hat Society at Gems & Java 2019.

Jean Wright

Jean and her table of friends from New Hamburg would definitely have taken home the prize for best-dressed guests! The ladies, part of a Red Hat Society, showed off their finest hats, headbands and fascinators. It was Jean’s first time at Gems & Java, and she said she knew it would be a great day as soon as she walked in the door.

“I was sold on the idea when I walked in, because the volunteers made every effort to sell it. It looks beautiful as soon as you come in. I thought, it’s worth a $50 ticket just to walk in and see what they’ve done.”

Rowan Forabosco

Rowan may have been one of the youngest guests at Gems & Java, but his heart was as big as any of our major donors. Rowan, 12, and his mom bid on silent auction items - winning the hand-knit Harry Potter bear you see in the photo! - and they also shopped at our Ethiopian Marketplace and made a donation to the GETS program, Girls Empowered Through Soccer.

Rowan Forabosco, a returning guest at Gems & Java.

Rowan Forabosco, a returning guest at Gems & Java.

Rowan said the challenges facing women and children in Ethiopia struck him hard, especially the young girls who play on two soccer teams in Harar. Many of those players don’t have enough to eat, and are balancing adult responsibilities such as caring for sick parents or selling products on the street to help keep their families afloat. It pained Rowan to hear that some children in Ethiopia wouldn’t have the chance to get involved in athletics the way he has.

“I love to play sports. The soccer (program), I thought was really awesome. I want to give other people who couldn’t do that their own chance to play sports. This (donation) takes just a little bit out of what most people earn every year, that they might spend on something else that’s not as important. This is changing lives.”

His mom said their motivation to invest in our work is simple: “It just makes us feel so good.”

Michele McMahon

When Michele’s friend put out a call on Facebook looking for people to fill a table at Gems & Java, she had enough takers for all the seats within 15 minutes.

So, what did this first-time guest think of the event? We caught up with her after the presentation:

“I thought it was amazing. Well done. Very, very articulate.”

Our Bears with Busajo are hand-knit by a team of incredible volunteers. Proceeds go to support our work in Ethiopia. We also bring a number of these bears to hand out to children at our projects when we go to visit.

Our Bears with Busajo are hand-knit by a team of incredible volunteers. Proceeds go to support our work in Ethiopia. We also bring a number of these bears to hand out to children at our projects when we go to visit.

Marion Baker

Marion, a longtime Gems & Java guest, stocks up on our cute little hand-knit Bears for Busajo at Gems & Java every year. But then she turns around and donates those teddy bears to another good cause, the Christmas Place, where low-income families in Woodstock can go to choose their own gifts during the holiday season. Gifts, donated by generous folks like Marion, are priced at just a few dollars so that they’re within reach for families going through a tough time.

"I don't have any little people to buy for, and I like buying things for Christmas. It helps Mothers with a Heart, and it provides something for someone who can't afford something like this.”

Sponsor Support: 104.7 Heart FM

“It's a venture that provides hope for people growing up in difficult situations. It also gives them education in order to help break the cycle that people sometimes find themselves in due to simply being born.”

Those inspirational words are from Dan Henry, program director with 104.7 Heart FM. We were incredibly proud to partner with the radio station around Gems & Java again this year, and in a new sponsorship role to boot!

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Heart FM was our first official Media Sponsor and boy did they knock it out of the park, broadcasting commercials about Gems & Java to their wide audience across Oxford County and beyond. If you heard an ad for our flagship fundraiser, you were listening to Heart FM!

We were so incredibly impressed with the understanding and passion Dan and his team have for our work. Heart FM has always been community oriented, but for a grassroots organization like ours, the support of local media is more important than ever! We’re so appreciative of the wonderful coverage before and after Gems & Java.

“We are so thankful for Heart FM's generous sponsorship and the enthusiasm they have for Gems & Java and what we are doing to help make a difference in the lives of women and children in Ethiopia,” founder Shelley Green said of the sponsorship.

“Heart FM provided us with excellent coverage and promotion. The message about our event and the work Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia is doing was heard by thousands and thousands of people, and there is no doubt we benefited from this incredible exposure,” Shelley added.

Heart FM has often done a live interview with Shelley on-air to help promote Gems & Java, and has written online stories to help us spread the word about our ticket sales. That kind of awareness can be hard to build (though we know many of you are already coming back to Gems & Java year after year!) and we’re especially glad to be doing it with such a dedicated community partner.

Dan talked to us about why Heart FM wants to support causes like ours.

“A radio station doesn't have margins as high as many other types of businesses which makes it difficult to help financially. One thing we do have is access to ears through air waves, and that's the biggest and perhaps best way we can support community events like this,” Dan said.

He said he was particularly touched by the way Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia is dedicated to empowering women and children.

“Helping young women gain skills, providing shelter, and much needed medical services that we take for granted is quite compelling for anyone,” Dan said.

We don’t just want to provide one-time help, we want to give opportunities for the folks in tough situations to build an income, send their kids to school, break generational poverty, and build a new way of life. Those are the investments we are making through your donations.

Thank you so much to Heart FM for your support in helping us make these life-changing differences in Ethiopia. We’re so grateful that your station has chosen to be such a compassionate company.

Sponsor Support: Green Private Wealth Counsel

We’ve been so lucky to have the support of a dedicated local business since Gems & Java was started more than eight years ago. Green Private Wealth Counsel has stuck with us since the beginning!

Paul Green of Green Private Wealth Counsel, a longtime sponsor of Gems & Java and our very first Presenting Sponsor.

Paul Green of Green Private Wealth Counsel, a longtime sponsor of Gems & Java and our very first Presenting Sponsor.

That’s a pretty incredible feat in today’s environment, when most companies are inundated with requests for sponsorship, donations, and other financial contributions.

Paul Green has a close connection to our work - Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia’s founder Shelley Green is his sister! - but Green Private Wealth is also dedicated to supporting a variety of good causes in the community.

This year, the company took on a new role, becoming our first ever Presenting Sponsor of Gems & Java.

“Paul Green has been a very generous sponsor right from our very first Gems & Java and he has faithfully continued his support,” Shelley said.

“Thank you Paul for believing in the work our volunteers are doing, for seeing the need of children and women living in abject poverty in Ethiopia, and for choosing to respond with generosity!”

Paul told us that he has continued to support our projects through sponsorship at Gems & Java for three main reasons.

He’s confident in the way our organization is run, he sees how our base of support continues to grow, and perhaps most importantly, he recognizes the “immense passion” of our volunteers.

Though Green Private Wealth contributes to all kinds of initiatives, Paul has a particular soft spot for efforts that will benefit underprivileged children.

He once told us: “Kids need love. They need people in their lives.”

With Gems & Java continuing to grow every year - the 2019 event raised $121,000, the first time we’ve surpassed the $100,000 milestone! - Paul said he’s happy the firm can play a small part in our success.

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“Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia is well run and managed with extremely low overhead. The organization is truly committed to making a big difference,” he said.

We were so pleased to welcome David Harris, another member of the Green Private Wealth team, to our Friday night event to bring greetings from our presenting sponsor. Thank you David for taking the time to come speak to our guests!

The role that sponsors like Green Private Wealth Counsel play is absolutely invaluable. Their financial contributions cover the expenses we incur putting on a top-notch fundraiser like Gems & Java, which means the dollars you donate go exactly where you want them - to support the projects and programs in Ethiopia that help women and children seize the power of potential.

Thank you Paul, David, and the entire Green Private Wealth team for your loyalty, generosity, and continued decision to help make life better for strangers halfway across the world.

Surgical Success Stories - Faltase, Aster, Mesegebe, Amate (#269 to & #272)

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Faltase is a sixty-year-old widow. She has had seven children and five are still alive. She’s suffered from her prolapse for one year and was so happy after her surgery to be prolapse free!

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Aster is 70. She has had six children and four of them are still alive. Amazingly, she’s only had her prolapse for one year but in that short time it had gotten very bad. She had a very successful surgery and is now recovering very well.

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Mesegebe is a widow who has sadly lost all of her children. Some of them died later in life which is how she has grandchildren that she now lives with. She is about 60 years old and has given birth to six children and has suffered from her prolapse for ten years. Despite all of these difficulties Dr. Nate says that she really has a great attitude and a sweet spirit. It definitely comes through from her picture!

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This lovely woman is Amate who is 45 years old. She has given birth to five children and four are still alive. She’s had her prolapse for 10 years and had a great outcome from her surgery. Thank you to our donors for making this happen!