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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

The Gift that Keeps Giving


Each of my children chose a project to raise money in lieu of gifts for their Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Caila’s decided after a trip to Ethiopia that she wanted to help people have water and electricity for her project. We worked with an amazing not-for-profit organization, Innovation Africa that brings Israeli solar, water and agricultural technologies to rural African villages.


Instead of gifts and a big party we raised $25,000 from over 100 friends and family for a village 4 hours from the nearest city. As a result of the money donated we brought solar energy for electricity , a bore hole, seeds and supplies to a women’s cooperative to start a vegetable garden, mattress for the local clinic, computers and supplies for the school and toilets. Most importantly the funds brought the gift of health and education.

Instead of digging in contaminated water holes shared with animals for water and then walking back 8km with water buckets on their heads, kids can now instead spend the time learning at school. Waterborne illnesses no longer plague the community. The locals previously ate a diet consisting of 90 percent maze and now they have assortment of vegetables and increased food security.


The Talmud teaches us if you Save One Life, you Save the Entire World. Caila’s gift to this village is truly a gift that keeps giving.


Thanks Innovation Africa for the update and pictures. The sign should really say I love you Caila Samuels.

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