A student group working to raise money to assist members of a
country in a completely different continent, held a jazz and wine
tasting fundraiser at the Avenue last Thursday.
The money was raised by the Ethiopian Student Association to
help Ethiopians combat a current famine and increase the quality of
education in this Third World country.
“What is so inspirational about our group is our passion,” said
Melat Mehwyelet, president of ESA. “Our passion is for helping
One of the fifteen couples that attended the intimate event had
lived in Ethiopia for a number of years. They were excited to see
that someone was doing something with the intent of raising money
The charity event raised about $1,200 between ticket prices and
Half of the money will assist with famine relief in Ethiopia as
there is an increasing fear that drought conditions might worsen in
the near future.
The other half of the money will be used for development of the
Mehwyelet’s family lived in Ethiopia for eight years and she
said she will never forget how difficult it was for many of her
peers to receive an adequate education.
“Students, for example, use one book for three students,”
Mehwyelet said. “School supplies like pens, pencils and paper are a
Yoseph Assefa, public relations chair for ESA said the support
the organization has received from the community has been
“People understand when you are doing something good, and they
go out of their way to help,” he said.
The group also planned a Walk for Famine in Denver last
semester. This event helped to raise $80,000 for the
For member Noma Sabanda the sense of community within the group
is very meaningful.
“It is wonderful to be among so many people that feel as
passionately as you do about something,” she said.
Sabanda performed a song Thursday evening that she wrote
specifically for the event. The song focused on the struggles that
many people face when growing up in Third World countries.
“My favorite part of the song focuses on living your life to the
fullest,” she said. “It was a good closer for the night.”
ESA meets once a week on Monday nights at 8 p.m. The meetings
are usually held in the sunken lounge or in the art lounge of the
Lory Student Center.