Mesgana (an Amharic for gratitude), “represents the hope this tour will bring to the girls of Ethiopia”, says the press alert released by the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund, a non-profit organization based in Murray, Utah, and the tour’s primary organizer.
“If not properly educated, girls in Ethiopia will be faced with disease, prostitution and poverty.” According to the tour organizers, for two hundred to five hundred dollars a year sponsors can send a student to a private school in Ethiopia. Currently 800 students are enrolled in the program.
The tour also benefits Ethiopia Reads, another non-profit organization founded in 2003 by Yohannes Gebregeorgis and led by the celebrated children’s author Jane Kurtz. The group establishes libraries in schools in Ethiopia and has published many books in Amharic.
The tour will be from August to September 2007 and will include stops in Washington, DC, Columbia, MD, Evanston (Chicago), IL, Atlanta, New York City, West Orange, NJ Denver & Boulder, CO, Salt Lake City, Murray, & St. George, UT, San Jose, Palo Alto, Ontario/Upland, and Los Angeles (San Fernando), CA.