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Market Day

2020by Caroline Kurtz and Clark College Economic and Community Development

"The vibrant beauty and exotic flavors of Ethiopia are on full display in its markets, which include the largest market in Africa. Like the sprawling Mercato in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian markets are more than just places to shop: these thriving hubs of commerce are also where Ethiopians go to visit with old friends, to play, to eat and to sell products from their gardens, orchards and farms. Children love the sights and sounds of the busy caravans piled high with fruits, vegetables, textiles and grains. Markets in Ethiopia are important cultural events and vital to the thriving trade routes that bring everything from coffee to camels to families in Africa and beyond. Colorful watercolor illustrations bring the market to life in rich detail and dual language text in English and Afaan Oromo supports emerging readers and students of indigenous Ethiopian languages. Ready Set Go Books, an Open Hearts Big Dreams Project, is focused on increasing the literacy rate in Ethiopia through giving readers books with stories in their heart languages, full of colorful illustrations with Ethiopian settings and details. Profits from books sales will be used to create, print, and distribute more Ready Set Go Books to kids in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country. Ethiopia’s population is 44% children, ages 0-14 (43 million out of 97 million total). Only 5.5% of children attend pre-school or kindergarten, and the adult literacy rate is 49%. Our books are based on wise Ethiopian sayings that often rhyme in Amharic. If an adult says the first half, many children can chant the second half. Sometimes the meaning of these sayings is clear. Sometimes it has to be puzzled out and argued over. But sayings and idioms and proverbs help people express truths and beliefs in unusual ways. Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund (OHBD) is a 501(3)(c) not for profit organization that believes the chance to dream big dreams should not depend on where in the world you are born. Our focus is to support nonprofit organizations and their programs that provide literacy, K-12 education, and leadership as well as that support the parents and communities where the kids live, in Ethiopia." -- publisher



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