Stories of the World

Join the $2,500 by July 25th campaign!

My name is Kristie McLean and I traveled with SalaamGarage to Ethiopia six months ago. For me, one of the biggest attractions to SalaamGarage is its focus on raising awareness of social issues and challenging travelers to ACT (rather than just documenting the status quo) to bring about positive change.

I am always on the lookout for long-term solutions to global social issues. While on the trip, I heard the heartbreaking story of a 22-year old woman, on the brink of suicide, who was brought to Hamlin Fistula Hospital and successfully treated, but whose husband and family would not accept her home again. I also met an Ethiopian engineer who builds water mills that help women in rural communities- and the idea of creating a mill to help both constituencies and serve as a practical solution to everyday life was born.

This water-powered mill in Western Ethiopia will grind grain for 800 families in the community of Begi and provide a safe living compound and sustainable income source for obstetric fistula survivors.

The initial $1,000 for Phase One has been wired to Addis Ababa and the local work team has traveled and researched the best site and obtained the land. I’m excited to report that Phase Two of the Ethiopian water mill project is now underway!

Please join me in the next push to raise at least $2,500 (of the remaining $10K) by July 25th! That’s my birthday, and I’m hoping that in lieu of other birthday gestures I can raise awareness and funds to re-build and empower other lives instead.

To help: please visit the Crooked Trails website (the 501c3 sponsor for this project) at to make your TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation. Make sure to mark “Ethiopia Water Mill Project” in the Notes field so the funds are earmarked successfully. Crooked Trails is set up for corporate-matching and happily accepts both check and credit card donations. THANK YOU for your generous support of the women of Ethiopia!