When Ethan Greeley began to study for his bamitzvah at a suburban Washington DC synagogue, he already knew he wanted to aim his requisite community service project at helping children in Africa. He was particularly interested in doing something in Sebba, a tiny village in northern Burkina Faso where his mother grew up and which he had visited numerous times. Today, in that village, more than 5,000 miles away from his Maryland home, stands a new library for children and adults to gather, read and borrow books.
The library opened on April 9, 2016, about a year after Ethan's bamitzvah at Temple Emanuel. Thanks to donations from the Greeleys' friends and family; the Friends of Burkina Faso; the Temple Emanuel Global Mitzvah Committee and Merck (the pharmaceutical company for which Ethan's father, David, used to work), Ethan raised $20,000 to refurbish an old building and turn it into a library.
Great article about one of the FAVL donors who helped make a library happen in Burkina Faso
Very nice profile of Ethan Greeley in The Jewish Chronicle.