Kechene Primary School

I’ve found another school very similar to Naama Millennium School in Uganda, it is Kechne Primary School here in Addis Ababa (many of you may have heard me talk about Naama school, LaToya King and I worked with Dr. Christopher Kigongo, the founder, this past spring to put together a business plan and fundraising powerpoint detailing how donated funds will be spent at the school). Kechene is one of the poorest neighborhoods (if not the poorest) in the city. Without this school, which was started by two exceptional men from the surrounding community (Petros and Nichodemas), many of these kids would have little hope of ever attending school and would not be receiving a meal per day.

Jonathan Page, a fellow volunteer, and I will be teaching two days a week at the school, playing soccer with the kids and helping Petros and Nichodemas put together a budget and business plan. The school is currently being run on a shoestring budget. Hopefully, the more accurately Kechene can articulate how funds are being spent, the more money the school will be able to raise and spend effectively.


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Getting Oriented


This post is delayed  because I have been unable to connect to my blog, more to follow soon (hopefully).

I arrived safely, had an enjoyable weekend and am ready to get to work this week. Mainly, I’ll be working on coordinating logistical details for the Leadership Beyond Boundaries Program, being hosted in Addis Ababa by the Center for Creative Leadership, in July. As well, I hope to meet with a local woman, Salem, who produces handmade Ethiopian jewelry, to discuss possibilities for marketing it back in the States. A more in-depth post will follow later this week, as I gain a better sense of the city, the people and tasks at hand. There’s a lot to learn, as usual.

Some photos have been posted to my flickr account. There’s a link on the right: JTV’s photos.


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



Hello Friends,

As many of you are aware, I will be in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for approximately the next 16 months (my flight leaves at 6 AM on Friday, May 23rd from Charlotte). I will be doing community development work for Cherokee Gives Back and the Center for Creative Leadership. I have no doubt that over the next 16 months I will learn and grow more than I would in possibly any other situation; I am so grateful for this. The months ahead will be exciting, challenging and extraordinarily educational. Thus, any support, advice and/ or expertise from readers is not only welcomed but much appreciated.

The intent of this blog is to keep readers up to date on the events, opportunities and challenges of the coming months. I hope you find the reading accurate, clear and occasionally interesting.

Lake Tillery, NC