"Like the vibrant colors of Ankara prints, our mission and vision couldn't be more beautiful." - Tammy Darmel Moore, Founder and President, Footprints in Africa
Happy New Year!
2020 was an eventful year filled with moments of surprise, adjustment, and realignment, but we made it through! We are entering 2021 with a keen focus and vision along with a plan to expand the Footprints in Africa brand for the greater good, and we are counting on you, our readers, and supporters to help us achieve these set goals!
As we look to the future, we plan to have a clearly defined foundational layout for the work that we do, and at the top of our list is the work that we do in Ethiopia. For many of you who know a bit about Ethiopia, you also know that it has had a long history of perseverance and tenacity. Through cold wars and bouts of severe poverty, most Ethiopians have overcome and continue to overcome. It is because of this reality that Footprints in Africa exist. From the beginning, we aimed to reach the less fortunate, and although we achieved a lot last year, we are prepared to do more this year.
Our travel plans will play a significant role in our work this year and the impact that we will make in the lives of many Africans. Ideally, we want to travel to three African countries this year, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Ghana. Although we are yet to decide what rescheduled date we will be traveling to Ethiopia officially; we have decided to travel to Senegal in April and Ghana in July. The purpose of our trip to the countries mentioned above is to explore the needs of the communities as well as to uncover the numerous opportunities available to us to empower those communities.
Travel Sponsors Needed
The nature of our work requires us to travel a lot, and because of that, we are always actively seeking travel sponsors and grants. If you would be interested in partnering with us to achieve our travel plans to the above-mentioned countries, we would gladly appreciate it and would love to hear from you!
Sponsor a Mingi Child
We understand that times are hard; however, our commitment to humanity is stronger than ever, and therefore, we want to encourage you to join us on this vital journey, "Sponsor a Mingi Child," starting this month.
For $37 a month, equivalent to a cup of coffee a day, you can support a Mingi child from Omo Child Home in Ethiopia. Right now, 50 children need sponsorship, and we are encouraging all of our supporters to commit to sponsoring at least one child for a minimum of 12-months. Your financial support will ensure that these children get ample access to healthcare, clothing, and education. We hope that you can be a part of this great cause.
Current Events in Africa
Photo by Trevor Cole on Unsplash
With the recent chaos surrounding the Ugandan electoral process, Ugandan authorities ordered several telecom companies to immediately shut down social media and internet messaging services, just two days before a tense presidential election took place. In a letter, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Executive Director Irene Sewankambo directed telecommunications companies to 'immediately suspend any access and use' of social media and online messaging platforms to Uganda residents. An industry insider who spoke out to news outlets on the condition that he would remain anonymous said that the orders were first sent 'nasty and aggressive' phone calls to the telecommunications companies. The insider also disclosed that the calls made it clear that the order was retaliation for Facebook deleting pro-government accounts for seeking to manipulate public debate before the election's key polls. To bypass the blockade, users were turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to gain access to social media networks.
President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, is running against Robert Kyagulanyi who is also known as Bobi Wine, a singer who became a Member of the Ugandan Parliament in 2017.
After the Ghanaian election results were announced earlier this year, several opposing parties who felt that the results were unfair had a very public clash. A group of Ghanaian soldiers who were alerted to the situation promptly intervened to break up the conflict which occurred between the two opposing parties in parliament ahead of the swearing-in ceremony that was set to take place. The chaotic scene erupted when a governing party deputy attempted to take the ballot box when votes were being cast for parliament speaker. According to witnesses, the break out of violence lasted for several hours until the group of soldiers stepped in and tried to break the scene up—parts of the ugly event were broadcasted live on Ghanaian national television. In West Africa, the election process seems to get often heated and volatile. Ghana has usually stood out as a stable democracy; however, the recent elections were marked by the opposition and rampant accusations of fraud.
Happy Timkat Ethiopia!
Timkat, an Orthodox Christian celebration to mark the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan, is held on January 19th (January 20th during a leap year). Timkat is one of the most important festivals on the Ethiopian calendar, therefore celebrated widely across the country, but the biggest and most spectacular Timkat celebrations take place in the historic city of Gonder. Often called the Camelot of Africa, Gonder is an ancient capital studded with royal palaces and castles bathed in blood and painted in gold.
The next day is the Feast of Michael the Archangel, Ethiopia's most-popular saint. And it is only on this morning that the Tabot of St. Michael returns to his church, also accompanied by the singing and dancing of priests and locals with their colorful dress. Thus ends the three-day celebration, a unique ceremony of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Public Domain Images
*Note, with the exception of Footprints in Africa's brand apparel, all items are Made in Africa.
We'd love for you to shop with us! All of our listed items come directly from the Motherland! Yes, you read right, everything is curated by the people of Africa. When you shop our online store, you're not just supporting our mission and vision, you're also supporting the local business owners in Africa.
Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King
Footprints in Africa celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and in doing so, we leave you with his very words, in hopes that you will in one way or another live a life of service, "what are you doing for others?" May this question propel you to dig deep, do more, and be more. The dream is counting on you.
*In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, were offering 15% off ALL of our online items through Sunday, 1/24/2021 when you use promo code MLK2021.
Lets Get Social
Thank you for your consistent support of our work. We invite you to connect with us on our various social media pages:
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On an unforgettable trip to a remote African village in Ethiopia, our Founder Tammy Darmel Moore came up with the name "Footprints in Africa" after a memorable experience with one of the village children. That evening, she had just spent the day at the village and began to embark on her nearly five-mile walk back to the van that would take her to her lodge when one of the children asked her to give him the pair of shoes she was wearing as a gift. Because she was unaccustomed to walking such distance in rough terrain barefoot, she declined at that moment, but her encounter got her thinking about the numerous shoes and opportunities she had and how blessed she was. Because of this incident, she decided to name her nonprofit "Footprints in Africa," an organization that would enable her and others to give back to the African continent in leaps and bounds.
Thank you for reading! We look forward to connecting with you next month!
© 2020 Footprints in Africa | PO Box 5435 Greenville, SC 29606 | 864-881-9000
Footprints in Africa is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization recognized by the IRS.