And as part of the work of Aiki Extensions, Lou Pollack whom I profiled here earlier and is part of the Greater Bay Area Aikido Community, has requested donations for the great work being done in Ethiopia.
The request that Lou is making is specifically to help raise funds to construct a suitable Peace Dojo. The space being used now is small, as in 350 sq. ft. (imagine a one car garage). It has dirt floors, thatched walls, plastic tarp and bed sheets for a roof. Any money donated will be tax deductible. With this link, please go to Awassa Peace Dojo to make your donations.
Lou writes, “I have recently been appointed Director of the Aikido Ethiopia Project (AEP). I am responsible for program development, strategic planning, and fundraising...our goal is to raise $10,000.00.”
He added, “AYCC was founded and is managed by Ethiopian youth. It provides a place for undeserved adolescents and young adults across social strata, tribes and religions to meet and take advantage of opportunities to which they would otherwise never have access. Programs including Aikido, music, art, circus theater, and team sports [that] provide learning and teaching experiences that develop specific talents and invaluable leadership skills. Many of these youth participate and perform in government-sponsored countrywide educational tours promoting awareness of HIV, female genital mutilation, and gender equality.”
As a historical note, Lou points out, “Ethiopia has a long historical and cultural imperative of warring regions resolving both personal and tribal disputes with force. With the establishment of the only Aikido training facility in East Africa, we have an opportunity to introduce alternative strategies of resolving conflict to a new generation of leaders in Ethiopia.”
I ask you to please consider this worthwhile cause. A donation of any amount will be appreciated. If you have any questions, you can contact me here, or Aiki Extensions. And you'll be making a lot of deserving young Aikido students in Ethiopia very happy.
Thanks to everyone in advance!