Do you want to try a new delicious Ethiopian dish and learn more about deaf culture? If so, come to the York Wellness Rehabilitation lobby from 6-9 pm, this Sunday, October 16th for a Taste of Ethiopia. This event will be fundraising for Visions Global Empowerment, a non-profit organization that supports youth around the world. Visions led the trip to Ethiopia that Nazareth students went on last year, and their efforts to empower the deaf community in Ethiopia require funding- that’s where you come in. Proceeds are going directly toward sustaining Visions’ current efforts in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Visions, along with individuals from the area in Ethiopia, has created a model deafness center, which serves hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and their families. The donations will essentially go right to them and the center, which provides education and empowerment for deaf youth.
Why is it important that you attend? Nazareth College is an institution that values diversity, civic engagement, and increasing our students’ knowledge of the world around us. This event includes authentic Ethiopian cuisine and a coffee ceremony, providing some insight into the culture of Ethiopia.
“Attendance at this event will heighten students’ cultural awareness, as well as giving them the positive feeling of supporting a good cause. “
I was also lucky enough to sit down and interview senior Laura Keech, who went on the 2015 trip, about this event and her experiences in Ethiopia.
GG: What was the most rewarding part of the trip?
LK: For me, it was the impact that we could see on the deaf Ethiopian children, as well as their students. To know that our work there has helped reduce the stigma around deafness and promote inclusion in their community is an incredible feeling.
GG: What were the challenges?
LK: The massive difference in culture was most likely the largest … challenge for all of us. Ethiopia is dramatically less developed than the United States, and adjusting to that was certainly an educational experience. Also, there was a language barrier between both the hearing Ethiopians and the deaf ones. This comes off as an overwhelming challenge, but we had interpreters who assisted us so much, and we managed to connect with the people we worked with regardless of language.
GG: Why should Nazareth students be a part of this opportunity and attend the dinner on Sunday?
LK: Attendance at this event will heighten students’ cultural awareness, as well as giving them the positive feeling of supporting a good cause. Yet another reason is that there will be a raffle, and Visions Global Empowerment’s “Peace” bracelets will be sold.