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Adera Jewelry

Choosing to Make a Difference

8,389 miles and an ocean away from College Station, Texas lies the bustling city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Though it would seem that the former has little to do with the latter, a Texas-originated effort has managed to link the two together and, in the process, change the social construct of Ethiopia forever.

Founded by Fort Worth natives Joe and Caren Robertson, Adera Designs provides hope and stability to many families in the Ethiopian community. By employing artisans to make jewelry that is then sold in the United States, men and women who would not otherwise have a means to provide for their family now find themselves both empowered and equipped to care for their children.

To combat the poverty, disease, poor education, and high unemployment wreaking havoc on the family unit in Ethiopia, the Adera Foundation actively facilitates programs to meet basic needs and promote self-sustainability among at-risk families. By targeting the most vulnerable segments of the Ethiopian population, Adera seeks to provide an avenue through which these families can not only survive, but thrive in difficult circumstances.

Working closely with government entities and village councils, this locally-supported effort is allowing vulnerable families to foster the skills needed for long-term success and security. Many mothers who would otherwise be forced to choose between keeping their children but not providing for them or giving their children to a local orphanage so that they can work are now finding freedom through the job training and childcare that Adera offers.

One of these such women, Hagere Tegegn, testified, “Adera gave me my life back… I have the confidence to participate in any social gatherings in my society… I now can buy whatever is needed for my children, which makes me feel so proud of myself as a mom. When my husband lost his job for a year, I managed to take care of all the expenses.”

Tiru Alebachew agreed, “Adera has changed my life by providing for our needs through sponsorship and school tuition for my son. From the salary I receive, I have been able to rent a house, buy necessary equipment for my house, and buy food so that we can eat properly.”

Every Adera purchase made directly supports artisans like Hagere and Tiru in Ethiopia striving to earn a living and nurture a healthy household environment. Adera jewelry is composed of handmade beads, making each creation unique to its owner. Bringing a bit of Aggieland to Ethiopia, maroon beads are created using recycled Aggie magazines - truly embodying the Spirit of Aggieland.

The Aggie spirit extends far and wide, and across the sea in Ethiopia, it is being used to provide a future and a hope to families in need.

Written by Kayla Bannwart
Photo credit to Adera Foundation
Photo credit to Scott Jones