FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Alexander Soros Foundation Awards $100,000 to Pioneering Ethiopian School
NEW YORK, Nov. 25, 2013—The Alexander Soros Foundation (ASF) pledged to double its yearly gift to Seeds of Africa Foundation, an organization that operates the Take-Root Center, a school for gifted yet underprivileged children in Adama, Ethiopia.
“Education is the great equalizer in any society,” said Mr. Soros. “Seeds of Africa, doesn’t just build schools and hand out supplies. They take a systemic approach to curriculum reform and bring cutting pedagogy to a part of the world which would otherwise probably not have access to it. Critical thinking, contemplation, and learning are at the very essence of humanity. This is is why I support Seeds of Africa.”
Founded in 2008, Seeds of Africa began as an after-school program in a backyard classroom of makeshift desks, benches, and a free-standing chalkboard. Now, it has grown into a full-time school and community landmark: 75 children between the ages of 3 to 14 years take classes and 25 single mothers participate in literacy, financial planning, and health workshops at the Take-Root Center. Students and their parents attend programs free of charge, and students receive uniforms, school meals, food subsidies, and school supplies.
Alexander Soros, son of billionaire philanthropist George Soros, serves on the board of his father’s organization, Open Society Foundations, which works to build tolerant societies. A believer in philanthropy as a catalyst for change, Mr. Soros established his own foundation in 2012 to champion causes that address the root causes of societal inequalities rather than offer “Band-Aid solutions” or temporary fixes.
With the philosophy that change starts at a young age, Seeds of Africa recognizes students’ individual talents and cultivates critical thinking and leadership skills. Take-Root Center educators design learning “experiences” or integrated projects that add to students’ hands-on knowledge in multiple subjects and foster self-reflection and active classroom participation—a unique approach in the landscape of Ethiopian educational opportunities. Seeds of Africa will use the Soros grant to expand its curriculum model; it will accept 75 students and 20 new pre-schoolers, train teachers, launch more extracurricular programs, build partnerships with schools and universities in Ethiopia and abroad, offer microloans to 30 single mothers, and add more adult literacy and health classes.
“I truly admire the work Mr. Soros is doing to support civil rights, social justice and education by funding innovative organizations,” said Seeds of Africa Founder and Executive Director Atti Worku. “Being recognized amongst the organizations the Alexander Soros Foundation supports such as Global Witness is incredibly significant. His generosity will enable us to move forward with the Dream School Initiative which will build upon the success of our curriculum model and impact the lives of hundreds of children in Adama, Ethiopia.”
ABOUT SEEDS OF AFRICA
Based in New York City, Seeds of Africa seeks to create a self-sustaining model for education and community development that can be replicated in other African communities. Beginning in Ethiopia, Seeds of Africa educates and nurtures gifted children, young adults, and communities with support that meets basic needs, an innovative curriculum and community development programs. The organization moves beyond the traditional aid model, shifting from mere relief efforts to giving students, families and communities the skills they need to support themselves and rise above poverty.
ABOUT THE ALEXANDER SOROS FOUNDATION
Alexander Soros launched the Alexander Soros Foundation (ASF) in 2012 to promote civil rights, social justice and education by awarding grants to innovative organizations in the U.S and abroad. Featured on the websites of Forbes, Bloomberg, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, ASF funds trailblazing organizations, such as labor rights organization National Domestic Workers Alliance, environmental justice watchdog Global Witness and social justice defender Bend the Arc, that offer long-term solutions to global challenges. ASF recognized Liberian activist Silas Siakor in 2012 and Cambodian campaigner Chut Wutty posthumously in 2013 for their Extraordinary Achievement in Environmental Activism.
Contact: Dee Dee Mozeleski, 914-216-9797