2014 - the new year continues ...

Dear Friends of the Ethiopian Children's Appeal,

I would like to report on our annual delivery to the two rural schools in Sodorre, Ethiopia, which took place in January 2014. 

During 2013, we held two successful bazaars in Geneva in June and in November.  We were privileged to have members of the UN music group perform (the Undersigned and the Jazz Group).  

Read about the experience of Khalid Abdulqaadir

ImageSeveral children of UN colleagues performed dance and music routines as well.   The Ethiopian Children's Appeal won the UN 21 Award for staff volunteerism in 2013 and in December,  I had the honour of personally delivering the awards to our Economic Commission for Africa colleagues who helped me to first establish the association as a task force thirteen years' ago. 

The Commission, under the leadership of Carlos Lopes, continues to provide transport, fuel and drivers to the association in order to make the deliveries.  While in Ethiopia, I sought advice from Ethiopian officials on registering the association as an NGO in Ethiopia. 

During this year's delivery to the two schools we assist, I was accompanied by five graduate students, four participating in Webster University's Global international relations masters' programme, who I had met in Geneva through Professor Rebekah Jorgenson; one  PHD candidate from North Carolina;  and a colleague working at the Global Fund. 

Four of the students were African Americans who were experiencing their first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa.  They helped me to deliver school supplies to more than 900 children in the rural area of Sodorre, Ethiopia; they spent time including Christmas with the HIV/AIDS children that I consider my adopted grandchildren at the Artist for Charity ( AFC) home for Addis. 

ImageThis year we were able to install a water line into the school so that the children now have clean drinking water.  We also saw the vegetable garden reap three more harvests and benefit the children attending the Melka Oba School. 

With the help of the Institute for Sustainable Development and its venerable founder, Susan Edwards and her staff, we were able to work with the local community on installing trench dams and other methods to prevent flooding and eroding in the area of the school. 

We are also collaborating with ISD to implement a project to help with vocational training for graduating secondary students and for the mothers in the community.  We also delivered school supplies to a third school located in the national park reserve in Langano. 

The AFC children are growing up fast and three young ladies are now attending university, one in Canada, one at Adama University and the other at Arba Minch University, both located in Ethiopia. I was able to locate a Geneva-based charity that agreed to finance the private secondary education of all the AFC children.   Image

The Schoolery: Jewels for Schools charity boutique has been set up by me in my spare time on Etsy.com/shop/schoolery.  The shop features jewelry designed by local Ethiopian artists and myself and all proceeds from the shop go to help the two schools the ECA supports as well as the AFC children.  

It is our hope that eventually we can set up a cooperative in Ethiopia to train homeless and unemployed mothers to create the jewelry designs themselves and to promote them on line.

I will be taking a slightly early retirement in a few months but I still hope to hold the final bazaar and gala in late May or early June to further showcase the items we sell  for a good cause and to personally say goodbye to all of you in Geneva who have provided this association with so much support and care.

Jo Elizabeth Butler 

ImageWelcome to 2014 - things are happening!


In January 2014, Phylicia Tait was in Ethiopia to visit

the children that benefit from the good work of the Ethiopian Children's Appeal.

We will update you soon on the 2014 visit. 

Click here to see her first impressions [PDF]!

Great Success - Thank you to all that participated!

Christmas Fundraising Bazaar

Paroisse Protestante du Montbrilliant, 14 rue Baulacre, 1202 Geneva

Free parking at the church  -  Bus 8 stop Grottes  -  Bus 5 stop Baulacre

Get ready to do your Christmas shopping!

• For sale: artisan jewelry by various designers, textiles, scarves, baskets, paintings, decorations 

• Tombola prizes • Dance performances and lessons 

• Musical performances 

• Beading classes and other activities for children

• Disco dancing from 8:30 p.m.

• Food served throughout the day, catered by Awash Restaurant 

For dinner, kindly book with: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Download the Flyer HERE

It is an honour to inform you the Ms. Jo Butler, Founder of the Ethiopian Children's Appeal, has won the UN 21 Award for staff volunteerism for 2013. 

Compassion, generosity and hard work – all these virtues are on full display at the “Ethiopian Children’s Appeal”. In recognition of the efforts of the organizing team, the Secretary-General honoured the project with the 2013 UN 21 Award for Staff Volunteerism.  Look at the photos below and please watch the UN 21 Award cerinony from UN TV


A message from iSeek UN

Heartfelt support:

The Ethiopian Children’s Appeal wins the UN 21 Award for Staff Volunteerism


Tuesday, 24 September 2013, New York

In 2001, a major drought threatened over 16 million people in Ethiopia. Colleagues from the Economic Commission of Africa, led by Jo Butler, decided to play their part in ameliorating the situation and initiated the “Ethiopian Children’s Appeal” . By engaging the local community, schools and the Rotary Club, the project raised enough money to make a first delivery of three tonnes nutritional biscuits, clean water supplies as well as school supplies to over 300 students at a rural school in Sodore, Ethiopia.

When Jo, the founder of the initiative, moved to Geneva to take up a new assignment with UNCTAD, the idea travelled with her and the Appeal’s scope and the number of is supporters was expanded. An annual bazaar was set up in Geneva that raises anywhere between $15,000 - $40,000 a year for the good cause. An online shop that offers jewellery generates additional proceeds for the initiative.

Now, 11 years later, the project has established a proud record: On average, it delivers over ten tonnes of food annually as well as school supplies, clothes and books for 850 children in two rural schools.

Since its inception, the Ethiopian Children’s Appeal has built eight classrooms, two teachers' quarters, two libraries, refurbished the local health clinic, installed solar power at one of the schools and at a health clinic, and provided each student’s family with solar lights to allow the children to study.

In 2012, the project even set up a farm at one of the schools where children learn to grow their own vegetables. In addition, the project supports the Artist for Charity home which houses sixteen orphans with HIV/AIDS. Two of its resident children have recently enrolled in university courses. Current projects also include vocational training of graduating students, a chicken farm, and an initiative that provides clean cooking stoves.

Compassion, generosity and hard work – all these virtues are on full display at the “Ethiopian Children’s Appeal”. In recognition of the efforts of the organizing team, the Secretary-General honoured the project with the 2013 UN 21 Award for Staff Volunteerism.

Team members: Jo Butler, Max Jarrett, Max Donkor, Mai-Ellen Russ Jarrett, Sophie Combette, Francine Nkurunziza Nyakageni, Ebenezer First Quao, Brigitte Benaissa, Carolyn Knapp, Tesfaye Mekonnen and webmaster, David Galipeau.

If you would like to support the Ethiopian Children’s Appeal, or plan to establish a similar project in your own duty station, contact Jo Butler for further information.

These dresses are still available. Join the auction and make your bid for a great cause.  Send your bids to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Starting bid for beige dress is US$250   -    Starting bid for brown dress is US$150

Visit the Ethiopian Children's Appeal YouTube site

 Support our 'Schoolery: Jewels for Schools' collection 

For your Christmas presents,  shop @


Our jewels for schools collections helps you to give gifts for a great cause.

All proceeds help build classrooms, libraries and organic farming gardens to support rural school children in Ethiopia


Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world and Africa's second-most populous nation
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Learn more about Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia