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H2 Empower Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Environment, Girls Clubs, International, International Academic Exchange, Primary & Elementary Schools, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission: h² Empower is dedicated to improving lives in Africa through education & sustainable development. h2 Empower empowers people by: providing access to knowledge and improving literacy skills supplying books and technology training teachers and community members connecting people and organizations with the purpose of enriching lives.

Results: Sent 80,000 books to 50 schools and colleges, Provided water to a community of over 10,000, Built a community library serving 180,000, Built 4 classrooms to cut class sizes in half from 96 to 48, Sending 16 vulnerable students to university, Trained 350 teachers in Ethiopia, Provided micro-loans to 113 women in Burundi.

Target demographics: improve education and sustainability.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 250 primary school teachers in 40 schools, serving 20,000 children.

Geographic areas served: Ethiopia & Burundi

Programs: books and computers, teacher training, water, new classrooms, girls education, micro-loan, and university scholarships..

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Feteh. I am an Ethiopian gender adviser in CARE Ethiopia. I have worked with Helen Boxwill and H2 Empower as a volunteer and a gender trainer. I am always amazed at how much H2 Empower has helped children, girls and community in southern part of Ethiopia. I have seen what impacts the gender training brought in the schools that had their teachers trained and its effect on the girls. I am also a first hand witness to the joy and benefit of the library H2 Empower established in this community. I remember my childhood and how I valued books in my elementary years. We had all kinds of books, most not children books. so, when I came across a picture book or children's book, that was a "hallelujah!". What H2 Empower gave the kids in Hosanna is a library full of children's books and more educational materials. I have seen, my once in a while childhood, smile shining on so many kids, in all the days I visited and that lit my heart with joy! What touched me the most is the opportunity it has given girls in very rural areas of my country. It helped them go to school and have meaningful experiences, have water in their schools and around their communities, have the platform to practice speaking and confidence, have clubs that made them see beyond their small world and create young female leaders. As a woman who is passionate about education and gender, I had seen these girls' future being only in their towns, getting married and living the same tough lives their mothers lived. H2 Empower is changing that for them. It is showing them they can get where they want. They can reach all the highs they jump for and that it is possible for girls to be successful professionals if they worked hard and they do. I am proud to say H2 Empower is impacting many lives in all the best ways and I am happy to volunteer my time for all the things I could support H2 Empower with.

Nikki W.2

Donor

Rating: 5

Helen Boxwill, through her dedication and leadership, has done so much to make H2 Empower Inc a success. From building and stocking libraries, to training teachers, to empowering women and young girls, to helping provide clean running water and much more, H2 Empower has shown what can be done through the power of education and working with others.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have traveled through several countries in Africa. We visited Ethiopia in 2017, and during our time there, came across H2Empower's work in the SNNPR. Speaking to teachers, they could say nothing but enormous and sincere praise on this organization's work. That's not something you see often, especially with non-local groups. I believe H2Empower is doing wonderful things and I hope they continue to do so in the future.

Schools, teachers, libraries, they fundamentally decide how successful a community can be.

Best,
James Mikaelson

Lauren S.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to say that my family and I have supported H2Empower, for probably over a decade, by volunteering with the collection and loading of books for their library, assisting with card cataloging, computer work, creative assistance at fun-raisers, financial support and more. It's hard to imagine all the many ways H2Empower is helping to positively shape the future of individuals, especially young girls, their families and communities, and by extension, ourselves--since they are part of our global community. Piece by piece, this wonderful non-profit has dedicated itself to building literacy and education, water development, sustainable living practices, teachers, training, and other basics to those in dire need. I am also thrilled that my own daughter 's childhood was positively impacted by the many opportunities she had volunteering for this visionary organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

Helen Boxwill has created and worked tirelessly for this organization which provides the children of Ethiopia with the most basic needs and empowers them through education. I am happy to be able to support such a worthwhile cause.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My cousin, Helen Boxwill, has always been a person who dedicates herself to helping others. She created h2 Empower Inc to provide life essential opportunities for youth and young woman in Ethiopia and Burundi. Peoples lives have been enriched and transformed through the education and training of teachers in reading, special education and the building of a library. Also, life sustaining water is now provided for communities deprived of this very basic need.
H2 Empower is an organization based on love and selflessness. Helen, has truly empowered, uplifted, and shined her powerful light on the good people of Ethiopia!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

H2empower is an amazing organization. The work that Helen does in Hosanna and beyond is transformative. They helped to create the first public library in the Hosanna region and are dedicated to improving the schools and increasing access to clean water. All of the work is focused on bettering the youth of Ethiopia through education, water, schools and female empowerment.

Kelly B.6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

H2 Empower has directly impacted the lives of people in a remote town in Ethiopia by providing basic human needs such as water and basic human rights such as education. H2 Empower has a personal connection to their projects as their founder has spent several years living in the country and continues to make frequent visits a part of the organization's mission. H2 Empower does exactly what the name claims, it empowers the people through trainings on all of the services it provides which includes library teacher training, reading training and special needs education trainings to increase the quality of education as well as HIV/AIDS prevention and education.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It's pretty easy to find a good cause worth supporting. It's only marginally less easy to donate. As thankfully, we live in a hyper connected world full of passionate people striving to make the world just a little brighter.

H2Empower takes this to the next level. I've seen first-hand what it is accomplishing and, frankly, it's more effective at the end of the day than some very prominent NGOs. The people that work under H2Empower know what works and what doesn't, who the stakeholders are, and how to change thousands of young lives.

A library is home to imagination, ingenuity, and endless potential.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

h2 empower as non profit organisation has been dedicating on the empowerment of students and teachers.
It is also working on establishment of liberaries and equiping with the necessary materials .HaileBubamo primary school liberary at Hossana,Ethiopia ,can be me mentioned as an example.
h2 empower has also extended its work at the nearby wachemo university,Hossana ,Ethiopia.A few days training on "how to teach English in EFL class" was a facinating time.The materials we got from h2 empower to establish ELIP center , is a step to empower our students and staff members in a more professional way.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am very appreciate the positive work of h2 empower ,the valuable helping and eradicating poverty in the Ethiopian poor community like building community library and ICT center through the effort of the CEO of h2 empower Helen Boxwil ,I have no word how to appreciate her . I know her for the past year working as ICT expert for H2 empower in hosana. It has been my honor be a part of the incredible work being done by H2empower.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

It is difficult to think of H2Empower without Helen Boxwill!

As a professional in the library field, I have had the joy of knowing and working with Helen for the last three and more years. Personally, I found Helen to be dedicated and determined to make the world a better place by reaching the unreached. As far as I know, she has been here in Ethiopia for more than 15 years working in the areas of literacy development, WASH activities and construction of classrooms for needy schools. She always dedicates here time and energy to raise funds and books to schools and community libraries. I had the chance to visit the beautiful library she built in Hosaena at Alemu Woldehanna Primary school. Fortunately, I did training for more than 100 school, college and prison librarians in this library and found it to be resourceful for both school children and adults. Helen is friendly in her approach to people from the all walks of life in her attempt to raise money and other resources such as books. She knows how to work and works closely with local officials and brings them onboard in owning projects and deliverables. I also found her possessing an all-round knowledge and to be a good trainer. She has the passion of working with children and adults and is well versed in what she plans to do.

Alemu Abebe,
Coordinator, Library Development and Management, CODE-Ethiopia.

For further details, Email: alemuabebe2002@yahoo.com

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the joy of knowing and working with Helen for 5 years. She is amazing in her drive and determination to make the world a better place, especially Ethiopia. She is always on the lookout for ways to raise money for the many projects she completes. She is persistent in getting the right people, in the country and cities where she works, to help support her projects.
The library she built in Ethiopia is full of books, computers (the city is supplying the internet), and has a room for primary teachers to conduct read alouds and other lessons. I visited the library early on a Saturday morning and there were about 50 children (from primary though college-aged students) reading, studying, and enjoying the library.She has reopened a well to provide much needed water, helped a hotel owner learn how to prepare favorites (i.e. pizza) in the hotel's kitchen. There are so many other projects that are to be completed. It is obvious that the money raised goes directly to her projects. She has hosted trips throughout Ethiopia using the proceeds for projects and hosted events in the US to raise money.
Helen is a teacher and uses what she learned in her own classroom to help the children, parents, and teachers acquire the skills and strategies to improve students' abilities to read and write.

When in the US, she is also involved in many projects helping children overcome the barriers and challenges to feel safe and to learn. They know with Helen that they have someone who cares and is interested in their lives. She is a role model in what it means to be a citizen of earth and how to look out for each other. It is an honor to know her and to work with her.

1 kmazz

Donor

Rating: 5

What started out as a grassroots collection of an incredible amount of boxes with books (90,000 according to the official record!), after 13 years, H2Empower has turned into an incredibly impressive, ever-growing, ever responding movement to support Ethiopia and Burundi with libraries, buildings, education, training, resources, and inspiration—all completely in line with the United Nation’s 17 Goals for Sustainable Development to Transform the World. Its committed, passionate, creative, and undaunted founder and leader Helen Boxwill exquisitely partners with the local community leaders to help them achieve and celebrates with them when they do. I have known Helen Boxwill since she was a principal in Huntington schools where she was completely devoted to the children. Now she has directed that loving energy to the world. I could not be prouder or more impressed with what she has achieved and continues to. She is a personal inspiration to me as everything that is right with the world.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Helen appeared in my life in 2009 at a critical moment...as the reading office TA of a public middle school on LI, I'd salvaged hundreds of young adult books from being discarded but was at the breaking point at my home storing these many boxes of "useless" reads. My husband kept asking, "Why are you holding on to these?...We don't have the room and no one is benefiting from them." Yes, he was right I knew, but I am constitutionally unable to throw reading material away. I kept playing for time in hopes some deus ex machina would help me find a good home for these great teen reads.

Enter my affiliation with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington at an inaugural concert for Obama's first term in office and I met Helen, became a UU, and shadowed her great work in social justice advocacy. My book cache, along with those of hundreds of other LI donors, made its way to Africa on a 40-ft container ship that H2Empower had somehow managed to arrange from NY to build her dream of a library in Ethiopia.

The rest is history (or perhaps "herstory") and I've been supporting Helen's efforts ever since. One day, I want to see for myself the amazing changes H2Empower has brought to the Ethiopian and Burundian towns and villages her work has helped develop. For now, I watch the amazing videos, attend her great "friend raisers", and marvel at the woman's energy, passion, and example.

Way to go Helen! You're my sheroe.

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

It is with some astonishment that I have watched the development of H2 Empower. When Helen Boxwill first went off to Ethiopia to teach future teachers of English in 2003, she asked us to collect and mail her some bags of books because books were a rare commodity in that country, and teachers needed them. When she returned to the USA after a year, she sent many more bags of books. Eventually her enthusiasm and leadership led to the collection of so many books that a huge shipping container was filled with the help of many volunteers, and the books were shipped to Hosanna, Ethiopia, the town in which she had been working.

Along the way, the need became obvious for a library building to house most of the books and make them available to the whole community. Rather than quail at the prospect, Helen energized donors here in the States and parents of students in Hosanna. The average income in Ethiopia is $2 a day; the parents alone raised $4,000, a remarkable achievement. The library was built, and the community has been involved from the beginning. The town now pays the salary of the librarian.

Next Helen met a Unitarian Universalist minister from Burundi who was seeking help for the people in his very poor country. H2 Empower eventually raised enough money to get 30 market women started with mini-grants that they would pay back, so other women could establish small businesses also. Next, with her leadership, we successfully sought sponsors for four year scholarships for 20 students in Burundi who would otherwise not have been able to attend college.

Most recently, H2 Empower has sponsored workshops for teachers, and this summer ran the first ever training for librarians in all of Ethiopia. Helen deserves enormous credit for the achievements of H2. She has the very rare ability to dream big and then work hard enough to see those dreams come true.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Helen Boxwill had a dream and I am glad that in a small way I was able to help. She works tirelessly to bring education, a library, water and hope to many less fortunate. It is that hope that warms one's heart. H2empower, as an organization, has delivered for many years through Ms. Boxwill's desire to make change. That change is what brings Ethiopia forward and provides the children and adults an opportunity to make progress. What could be better than to see the rooms at the library full and the smiles on so may faces.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was introduced to h2empower about 8 months ago when I was saw a wonderful video showing the great work that is being done by this organization. I immediately wanted to participate and help out the hard working and dedicated people involved in this terrific nonprofit organization. The presentation I attended gave just a glimpse of the great work they are doing, and the impact that it is having in the community. How wonderful to know there are such dedicated working to contribute to the thousands of people who benefit from the community library, teacher training, education, and so much more. I am really proud to be able to help with the great work that h2empower is doing, and I look forward to seeing the plans and ideas for future projects come to be in the near future. The dedication, hard work, commitment, and heart that is given to this organization is incredible!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Ethiopia is not a land of plenty. In fact, if you looked at the statistics there is drought and as a consequence, food shortages. Additionally lack of sanitation brings high levels of major infectious diseases, the literacy rate ranks among the 10 lowest in the world with only 49% for males and 25% for females. Our founder, Helen Boxwill, a former teacher and administrator, saw a need to step in and work to better the lives in Ethiopia and Burundi .

After learning about Helen’s work, building a community library providing thousands of books, bringing water to communities, building classrooms, supporting girls education and setting up micro-loans and scholarships in Ethiopia and Burundi I was touched deeply by her dedication.

I along with my husband, visited Ethiopia on a trip Helen arranged. It was in 2015 we went to offer our service, see firsthand what Helen had accomplished and to see the vision of H2Empower in person. While in Ethiopia I saw how rich the people were, in sincerity, interest to learn and make a better life for themselves and their children. I saw how revered and celebrated Helen has become, how without pause she can tackle any project, solve problems and get the job done! Her dedication is unparalleled and has become her life’s work. I have called her the Mother Theresa of Ethiopia!

In 2016 I was privileged to be asked to serve as a board member of H2Empower. As an educator myself, I know the profound benefits education can make providing opportunities for economic growth, enhance conditions of health and well-being while improving the general quality of lives! I am proud to say that this is a small non-profit where we serve in an unpaid capacity, operating expenses are minimal and the donations are therefore put to good use fulfilling the goals directly back to the mission in Ethiopia and Burundi!
Sue Baum

5 inarukundo

Board Member

Rating: 5

I feel very strongly about the work of H2 Empower since it is close to my heart. Yes, they have changed the lives of thousands of families through the transformative work of instilling the value of reading, building state-of-the -art libraries and training teachers and librarians to enhance and education in Ethiopia. What is so special about h2 Empower is the sheer passion of founder Helen Boxwill and the organization's ability to work closely with government officials to ensure sustainability for all their life-changing endeavors...whether it's installing wells for a schools and villages who never had easy access to water, to building classrooms, schools, libraries that led to inspiring commercial business in remote villages, to empowering girls to have a voice and so much more. All the work of h2 Empower gives direct positive impact to children, families and communities. I've been to Ethiopia for the Hosanna library's grand opening celebrations and it is truly remarkable how much a small non-profit such as H2 Empower has achieved through incredible respect in the region. Not only that ,in Burundi, Africa the organization provides college scholarships to high-achieving students at risk of losing any opportunity for advanced education. This academic support is a source of pride for H2Empower as well. I am proud of the vital work of to h2 Empower to uplift the lives of so many....beginning with the love and empowerment of reading and then spreading the love to transform full lives.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

H2 Empower has tirelessly and diligently worked to enhance education in Ethiopia and has built a sustainable community library in Hosanna, Ethiopia. The sheer dedication and educational expertise that h2 Empower brings to it's numerous projects is beyond compare. Whether it's spearheading enormous
book drives in the US, shipping thousands of books to Ethiopia, training teachers, communicating with local officials and parents in local villages or supporting college scholarships for students in Burundi, H2 Empower is an organization that is deeply committed to empowering lives through education. As a founding board member, I have watched in awe as the countless obstacles were overcome and many goals realized.