Change The World

ETFL: Making A Difference One Tummy At A Time

DID YOU KNOW? One dollar raised can feed seven—that’s right, SEVEN—children in one day.

When it comes to making a change in the world, it may be impossible to think that one person can make a difference. However, Lindsay Seegmiller has found a way to put her money where her mouth is and help feed one hungry tummy at a time.

ETFL Eat To Feed Liberians Africa: waiting in line for food--what's not to love about these kids?!

When Lindsay returned from her second trip to Africa, volunteering in a Buduburam Liberian Refugee Camp (where she spent her time as a third grade teacher at a school in the camp), she realized that there wasn’t just a need for education, but also for the fundamentals of life. “The support that they need from their parents isn’t there,” she tells Faze.

In the classroom, some kids would fall asleep while she was teaching because they weren’t getting enough food at home to keep them awake. Witnessing students dozing off from the lack of food wasn’t easy and Lindsay knew that something had to be done. And that’s when Eat to Feed Liberians (ETFL) began.

ETFL Lindsay Seegmiller and Comfort

With many children coming from broken homes or dealing with parents that are HIV positive, making enough money to survive in the camp is tough—let alone being able to afford an education. “The school that I do the feeding program is kind of like the budget school at camp. There are loads of [schools] there and a lot of them charge upwards of $50 for a term—which is insane,” Compared to the school Lindsay teaches at which “offers $3, $4 or $5 a term and goes up to $7 for the oldest kids.”

Lindsay began to bake cookies at home, guaranteeing every cent earned from the sales would go directly to the kids in need. Eat a cookie, feed a child. It’s win-win.

Unfortunately, not all lessons are learned in the classroom, she explains of her background in Global Development Studies. “It was all really theory based,” “You get into the field and realize your academics have provided you foundation and inspiration, but as far as actually getting stuff done, it was useless… Like getting oranges from point A to point B and how to get basic accounting pulled together and reporting—all of those really practical things, my degree fell really far short of.”

ETFL Eat To Feed Liberians Africa: First days of the program in 2008 with the whole school

Through the support of friends, family and volunteers, Lindsay has managed to raise $20,000 in just two years and she’s looking forward to many more ways to support the kids in the camp over this third year. ETFL is constantly growing and, among other things, she is now looking at adding another 30 children to her already astounding roster of 300. “Fundraising is challenging. It’s a lot of work, and it’s a constant thing that I’ll always have to do, but it’s so worth it.”

**Lots of exciting things have happened since we first spoke to Lindsay! Check out her update letter here.

ETFL Eat To Feed Liberians Africa

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