Monday, April 09, 2007


by Nasir Al-Amin

I want to take a moment to introduce as well as acknowledged someone whose actions exemplify the commitment needed to aid in the global struggle to raise awareness and liberate children from bondage of child labor and poverty. Her name is Feven Shiferaw. I met Feven six months ago at one of ALIF’s CAF (Civic Action Forum) meetings, when she introduced herself to me, in which she indicated her interest in joining ALIF’s efforts to alter the life of impoverished children in Ethiopia. When she introduced herself, I remember thinking to myself that her name was familiar, then I remembered that I received a financial contribution from her the prior week. I went on to thank her for contributing to the Hiwot (Life) Campaign, an initiative to send 50 children to school in Ethiopia, and she maintained that she wanted to do more. However, at that point I had no clue that she would subsequently enter a triathlon in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the orphans and vulnerable children of Ethiopia through the Hiwot (Life) Campaign.

By no stretch of the imagination is a triathlon a simple task. The Liberty to Liberty-America’s Memorial Triathlon consist of a one-mile swim in the Hudson River, 91-mile bike through New Jersey to Philadelphia and a 10K run along Phil’s Schuylkill River ending at Philadelphia’s Art Museum famous for its scenes in “Rocky.”

When Feven and another friend told me of their plans to do this triathlon, I must admit I was in awe of their commitment to affect change in the lives of Ethiopia’s orphans and vulnerable children and inspired to push myself to do more for our children!

In the coming week ALIF will dedicate a page to Feven’s efforts, which we hope will inspire others to join in this global effort to affect change in the lives of Ethiopia’s orphans and vulnerable children.

I’ll close with a reflection from Feven on why she decided to take action:

Saving lives,

When I first found out about the Hiwot Campaign the first thing that came to my mind was to check out the website, and then I thought to myself how can I help? Sure I can donate money, but I wanted to do more than donating, I wanted to raise awareness, get more of our generation involve to help kids in Africa to achieve a better life through education.

When you drive around the streets of Addis Ababa and see hundreds of children roaming the streets, it can be very overwhelming and disheartening. You just want to help all of them. We can change their lives by helping one child at a time.

We're blessed to live in a place of comfort and opportunity. I also feel doubly blessed to have the chance to share and give, to give them hope and opportunity. For me this is a journey, a journey to better children's lives through education.

Click here to find out how you can help Feven raise funds for the Hiwot (Life) Campagin!

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