By Pastor Brad Otto
My name is Brad Otto, and I am the founder and president of Acts of Wisdom. I have been incredibly fortunate in my life to never have to experience some difficulties I see in the world every day. I can’t imagine what it’s like to go hungry, to not have clean drinking water, and to not have access to quality education.
I have been a dreamer for as long as I can remember, and I always knew that I could do or be anything I wanted. In college I had the opportunity to go to Latin America; we worked at an orphanage, and there was this one little boy named Jimmy. He wanted to be a teacher. Sadly, that dream wouldn’t come true for him, and it doesn’t come true for many children in the world.
I saw this same thing on my trip to Ethiopia in 2013. One hundred and forty five million children in the world do not have access to education, yet children still dream of becoming doctors, lawyers, and teachers. With a desire in my heart to see all children educated, I started Acts of Wisdom. I truly believe that peace begins with education.
Meet Birti Mengaw. Birti was a young girl that we spotted very early on our visit to Robit, Ethiopia. What stood out to us about Birti was her contagious smile and the way that she grasped her book bag. Education is everything to Birti. She was really excited and happy to get the schoolbook materials that we were delivering to her school. In a conversation we had with Birti she said that she wanted to be a “clever” student and that eventually she wanted to be a teacher. The schoolbooks would allow her to continue in her dream of becoming a teacher.
Birti’s grade was one of our first grades that we supplied with all the books the children would need, teaching materials for the classrooms, and supplies. One year later, that grade was the only grade that passed their exams at 100%. It goes to show you what difference having access to the right materials can do!
Our main goal is to help children in some of the poorest areas of Ethiopia obtain school materials, so that they can attend school. In many of the rural areas of Ethiopia there is a huge lack of access to schoolbooks and materials, in some places 1 book for every 7 children. Many of these children long to go to school, but barriers continue to stand in their way. Acts of Wisdom seeks to give every child a shot at an education.
On Tuesday, December 1, we hope that you will support our cause and the children of Ethiopia this #GivingTuesday. With your help we hope that we would be able to build a school library for a school that doesn’t have a library and only has one book for every nine students. This library would be supplied with the necessary schoolbooks and reading books they would need to help further their education.
Perhaps your congregation or youth group could do a special offering? Use these resources to help get the word out:
We’re all looking to make a difference in our world, and I believe that by focusing on education, we’re going to make a substantial impact. I truly believe that peace begins with education. I hope you will join us!