"Education is the best first step out of poverty. It gives children the tools to realize what is possible." - Salem Kassahun
After Taylor's first year of business school, she met an entrepreneur named Salem Kassahun, who was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A woman that has boundless dreams, a fearless business mentality, and a vision to bring her country out of poverty.
Living in a society where the odds are stacked against the success of women, she instead chose to seize each day and create something beautiful. She followed her passion to make exquisite, traditional Ethiopian products and created Salem's Designs. She went after a mission to leave the world in a better place.
However, it is hard to ignore the overwhelming poverty evident in the streets of Ethiopia. But Salem is someone who brings hope- hope that one day the cycle of poverty will be broken.
Her family has started a mentorship program, taken 150 children off the streets, sponsored numerous children in their community, and started and supported the international organization, YoungLife, in Addis. She aims to empower her employees, treating them like family, and outstripping the average Ethiopian income at least 4-fold.
Taylor noticed the7dayring in Salem's shop and asked her about it. The ring and its seven bands are a reminder that no matter what our day may look like, we have two options: make the most of it, or let it pass us by.
Salem told Taylor the story of a young girl named Kiddist.
Her single-father was an employee of Salem's, and despite Salem's best efforts to guide Kiddist's father, Kiddist was not receiving the life she deserved and was unlikely to make it past the 6th grade.
But Salem saw her curiosity when she read books in the shop and wanted to give Kiddist the chance to seize her days. She sponsored her schooling starting at the age of 6, and now at 17:
She is the top of her class.
She is top 4 in all of Addis Ababa.
She is on the path to a full scholarship to university.
Kiddist's brilliance would have never been realized had it not been for Salem's belief in her potential.
There are millions of girls who are just waiting for the chance to learn, and it is in our power to change that. The goal of the7dayringproject is to allow more girls like Kiddist to realize their potential, and to help them seize the day.
S A LE M : we pay her at store price allowing continued growth of her business.
T H E 7 D A Y R I N G P R O J E C T : we cover our costs of distribution and operations.
I M A G I N E 1 D A Y : we give the rest towards The Girl Fund to support girls education.
It is easy to "imagine 1 day" where our dreams come true, where we take that risk, complete our goal, or we see our world in a better place.
Imagine 1 day does just that- focusing on seizing the opportunity to turn Ethiopia into a place where one day, our help isn't needed. Their goal is to bring this to reality by 2030, and one of their projects designed to help them reach that goal is called the Girl Fund.
WE’RE SUPPORTING GIRLS IN PURSUING THEIR HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION
We will fund high school scholarships for 15 girls. Parents will receive seed funding and business training to earn income. After one year, families will self-fund their girls’ high school educations.
LATRINES WILL BE BUILT TO CREATE CONDITIONS FOR DIGNITY
We will construct two latrines where girls don’t currently have this right to privacy.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS WILL BE INSPIRED TO STAND FOR THEIR GIRLS
Across 45 schools in one district, we will work with influential community members to take an active role in achieving gender equity in their schools.
Let's EMPOWER families to pay for their children's education.
Let's provide skills, support and comfort to the girls.
Let's make it happen.
Let's seize the day.
Learn more about The Girl Fund and imagine1day here!
By purchasing a 7dayring, you are making a pledge to seize the day. You are supporting the days of amazing girls across Ethiopia.
How do you seize the day?
What does seizing the day mean to you?
Purchase a ring here, or donate directly to imagine1day's Girl Fund below!