Thursday, May 17, 2012

We are so proud that we have made one community get clean and adequate water. We were able to estabilish wogen Children and Mothers Support Association Seattle Chapter in 2 months after we visited the problem area. Fund was requiered is raised in six months and construction of the first water project was completed in four months. We have celebrated the inaugration. Please, visit our website, for the whole progress.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Teleconference with the Community

For final retouch we met with the community of our first project beneficiaries. We want to organize very nice inaugration to connect the different communities and development workers. We believe that this will help to convince communities be organized and have clean water and advocate future efforts.
In seven days Woyeraber's Clean Water project will be completed.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We are there

The Woyraber Clean Water Project construction is close to completion. We are talking about inaugration. Our second project study is underway. We are expecting the completion of the first project and the scientific study of the second project by April 15. As we got the result we will post it in our web Site

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Construction of the woyraber project is underway

After a serious of phone calls, emails today the chairman of the woyraber water users committee was met. He verified that they have started digging made stone and sand ready. They are transporting Cement and the metal rods.
Besides, the chairman said that the contractor promised that construction might be completed in 40 days. The community is anxious to see that happen.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

active but silent

Wogen Seattle chapter has scored a lot of progresses except we are behind in posting achievements. Very exciting to raise enough fund to complete the Woyraber clean water project. Individuals and charitable organizations are kind enough to help us raise it in less than six months. Major donors being Teel Charitable foundation, Stephanie and her family and friends and Landers family. Regional Hospital employees and Ballard Care management and employees. The Administrator of Ballard Care and Rehab is kindly helping Wogen Seattle to present paper to the Residents' council, her words were, "Yes we have to help vulnerable people but why not we help Wogen Seattle because the board members are people we know."  Member of Teel said, " rather than giving money and not knowing the where about, it will be nice to give to a corporation we know and who can update us on the progresses."
Stephanie on top of doing a lot of things, has wrote an article at Western University where she graduated.
About the Woyraber clean water project: End December we got permission to  construct from the government/ district office via our partner Wogen Ethiopia. Wogen Seattle had a teleconference with the community representatives which has a chairman, a supervisor, a treasurer, and four coordinators. The contractor is identified through open bid. The contractor, the community, the committee, Representative from wogen Ethiopia, Representative from the district Water department, department of Agriculture and the Chachikuna Locality administration has met at Mersha Zeleke where the water is to be constructed on January, 9 2012. The contractor and the community are organizing the materials for construction. To this effect we have sent $3600 the first payment. Any time soon we will disburse the amount required for the 2nd phase.
Board of Wogen Seattle met on January 6, 2012 and developed guideline to select project sites for the future, has approved disburse of the money required to complete the Woyraber clean water project. Has agreed to go ahead and do hydrology or water table study and develop the second project as proposed by Wogen Ethiopia's preliminary Study. Has come to understanding of a delegating agent here in Seattle and a representative in Ethiopia. Has come to realize participation of young diaspora and their friends in participating the organization and to approach businesses help Wogen.
We as a Board are thanking All who helped Wogen Seattle to achieve the first project,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We are Ready

Finally we have got the permit to help the Weyraber water project to be constructed and hand over to the community.Now it is on the process of biding. As we have deposited the 30% intial money to begin  the construction. It  will be started as soon as the bid winner or contractor is known, which according to Wogen Ethiopia will be within two weeks. In 10 days we are having teleconference with the community to make sure all the committee members are active and that needs to be from all the three sublocalities who are beneficieries of the water. In the mean time we are knocking every door to raise fund for the completion of the project and initiation of another one.
Please, join us helping this vulnerable Children and poor mothers to get clean water. Mind you we are flushing and using water anytime and any amount which is clear and clean. Even we opt not to drink tap water and buy bottled water. Of course we are blessed. But lets give to those who cannot get water, not clean even, to drink, take their medications. Forget about their livestocks and other domestic animals. Think what will happen if we did not wash our cloth and would not be able to change everyday. Children have to fight both wild and domestic animals. We have seen people washing their face using just meadow water in the middle of city garbage pool.

Giving is gettingfeeling of  happiness, but asking for help is not fun!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

article about Wogen

Please, visit this article by one of our board members

Fall 2011 | About | Contact Us | WWU Home | Alumni Association
The magazine for Western Washington University
Stories from Fall 2011

A journey for water

A recent alumna joins a Seattle family on their quest to bring clean water to their former village in Ethiopia

Story by Mary Gallagher

Print this story
Stephanie Grow overlooks a waterfall in Ethiopia's Semien Mountains. "Just about everywhere I went, it was green," she says. "It's a very diverse climate." | Photo by
Stephanie Grow, front-right, joined farmers from a rural Ethiopian village, a friend from Seattle and several others for lunch to discuss a clean water project for the village. | Photo by
A woman and a girl collect water from Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia. Stephanie Grow and Ruth Assefa met the pair on a walk along the lake. "This is how most people get water," Grow says. | Photo by
Sitting in a cafĂ© in rural Ethiopia, Stephanie Grow (’10, International Sustainable Development) struggled to keep up with the conversation in Amharic among three farmers, a construction manager, NGO workers and an Ethiopian-American Seattle resident.

Over a lunch of spongy injera bread and soda pop, the group heatedly discussed a plan to build a water well for the farmers’ mountaintop village, also the former home of the Seattle-area family.

But then the farmers said they already had a well and didn’t need a new one; they wanted a system to pump water miles up the mountain to their village. Understandable, Grow thought, but impossible without electricity.

She turned to her Seattle friend, Ruth Assefa. “We can’t build this,” Grow said. “If they’re not behind it, no one will use it.”

Then someone started talking about leeches, and the conversation sped up again.

Grow’s trip to Ethiopia had really begun months before around another table, at Western’s Bellingham Business Forum. Grow sat with Margaret Curtis, a partner at Wilson Engineering, which had sponsored Grow’s scholarship to study international development in Washington, D.C., as a Ford Global Scholar. Small talk soon turned to Grow’s passion about global health and clean water.

The summer after her sophomore year at Western, the Spokane resident had volunteered at a secondary school in Tanzania, teaching HIV/AIDS prevention. She was shocked to find classrooms full of boys: Where were all the girls? She learned that for many families in Tanzania, and in much of Africa, the daily task of collecting water falls to girls and women, who often have to walk for miles to get it. Time collecting water takes time away from going to school or earning money – and the water itself often makes people sick.

“The more I learned about water, the more I learned it’s tied to everything,” Grow says. “There are a lot of obstacles for girls that there aren’t for boys, and in a lot of places, that’s water. Think of the time that could be afforded if people weren’t spending so many hours of the day getting water.”

Curtis, the past president of the Western Foundation, was fascinated, and days later wondered if Grow could help her tackle a problem she had also been thinking about: How could her company, with its expertise in water systems, get more involved in international development? She offered Grow an internship with an intriguingly vague assignment to learn all she could about the best way to build water projects in developing nations.

Armed with a business card, curiosity and an outgoing nature, Grow read and wrote, attended conferences, and met many leaders in the field – as well as Ruth Assefa and her father Assefa Teferi, Seattle residents who were learning about water issues in hopes of improving the well at their old village in Ethiopia.

Learn more

Wogen Seattle partners with Seattle's Ethiopian community and others to provide financial and technical support to projects addressing safe water, nutrition, basic health care, sustainable livelihoods and a meaningful education in Ethiopia. Learn more by

One of the most important things Grow learned is it’s not enough to swoop in with a checkbook, get a well built and leave. Half of all clean water projects break in the first year, she says, and are never fixed. Which is why Grow was so worried when the farmers, who are elders from the Ethiopian village, insisted they didn’t need a new well.

But Grow kept asking questions, with Ruth translating for her and relaying the gist of the conversation.

“They didn’t know this was going to purify the water, make it cleaner,” Grow says. “They got really excited about leeches not being in the water for the cows. Your cow is your wealth. If you lose everything, you sell your cow (and start over).”

And then it became clear that the people drinking the cleaner water wouldn’t get sick, either. The farmers signed on.

With a locally elected water board in the village raising funds for maintaining the well, Grow and the Teferi family established a nonprofit in Seattle, affiliated with a group in Ethiopia, to raise funds to build it. The water station will have a place for bathing and laundry, a trough where cattle can drink and a source for safe drinking water. They hope the nonprofit, Wogen Seattle, can eventually help other Ethiopians in Seattle fund projects to improve quality of life in their native country.

Now back in Seattle, Grow is now working at PATH, an international nonprofit that helps communities around the world break longstanding cycles of poor health with the help of sustainable, culturally relevant solutions. Grow first met people at PATH through her work with Curtis at Wilson Engineering, and a six-month internship at PATH became a permanent job earlier this year. Now, some of her work involves an initiative to help companies develop meaningful partnerships with global health nonprofits.

Curtis continues to keep in touch with Grow, who recently encouraged her mentor to get more involved with International Business students at Western.

“I do feel like I’m a mentor (to Stephanie), but I learn a lot from her, too,” Curtis says. “She is teeing up opportunities for us on a regular basis.”