CREW held a successful fund raising kickoff event on August 2, 2014 at Howard University, Washington, DC. Friends and supporters of CREW attended the event that included dinner (sponsored by local Ethiopian businesses), live band, a fundraising game and speeches.
The program started with a welcoming address and a short video about CREW’s activities since its establishment in March 2012. Dinner was served while the live band was playing classical Ethiopian music. After dinner, the guest speakers spoke. They were: Maria G. Moreno, External Relations Liaison in IOM’s Washington, D.C. office and the Operations Officer at the U.S Association for International Migration (USAIM) and Ms Yalemzewd Bekele. Human rights activist and former human rights lawyer. Ms Mareno spoke about IOM’s role in supporting Ethiopian domestic worker deportees in Ethiopia and Ethiopians who are currently in the Yemen border. Ms Yalemzewd spoke on The impact of the Charities and Societies Law on the development of civil society organizations (CSO) in Ethiopia. Two Young activists, Mahlet Negatu and Soliyana Gebremicheal were given few minutes to speak about the candlelight vigil that was scheduled to be held later that evening in protest of the imprisonment of the Zone 9 bloggers by the Ethiopian government. Soliyana, one of the founding members of the Zone 9 group, explained to the audience how Zone 9 Bloggers started their group and how it was a non-partisan group comprised of young democracy activists who tried to promote dialogue and discussion regarding the development of democracy in their country. Guests participated at the discussions after the presentations.
Kumera Genet with his guitar and his friend playing the base and Kende with his keyboard played Ethiopian classical music. Assefu Debalke, a known Ethiopian singer, entertained the audience singing traditional Ethiopian songs. Ms Lucy Murphy, an activist and musician, sang a couple of progressive songs. A fundraising game played by the audience, raised hundreds of dollars for CREW. The program ended at 10:00 p.m.
We thank all of you who came to support us. We also thank those of you who generously donated money and those who sent their contributions even if they did not attend the kickoff event. We thank all the local Ethiopian businesses who supported us. Kebadu Belachew took pictures. Shaleka Berhanu and Tensae (from Sankofa Cafe) were very helpful in helping us throughout the afternoon. Thank you all. We also thank different websites that posted our advertisement including Tadias Magazine and ECADEF and ESAT radio and SBS (Australia radio) for interviewing CREW members about the event. We finally would to thank artist Meseretu for donating one of his paintings to CREW.
We want to remind our supporters that the August 2nd fund raising event was a kickoff for our month and half long campaign to get monetary support from all who are interested to help CRElW in achieving its goal of getting a reasonable amount of money to strengthen the organization.
Please send your tax deductible donations to:
Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW), P. O. Box 10412 Silver Spring, MD 20914, United States of America -- or, you can send donations by pay pal-- see our website: www.centerforethiopianwomen.org and let us know by e-mail that you have contributed by pay pal. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.