Abyssinian Fund, Coffee, Harlem and Ethiopia Connection (TADIAS Video)

Reverend Nicholas S. Richards, the Co-founder and President of Abyssinian Fund, at his office in Harlem during an interview with TADIAS last week. (Photo by Kidane Mariam for Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, July 14, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Reverend Nicholas Richards, President of Abyssinian Fund, is also the Assistant Minster at Abyssinian, the legendary African-American baptist church in Harlem. “Abyssinian Fund came as a result of two things,” Rev. Richards told TADIAS, speaking about the four-year-old organization. “I had a really deep-seated passion to become involved in Africa and African development from my first trip there when I was still in college, and also because of the Abyssinian Baptist church’s history.” He added: “Abyssinian Baptist church is 204 years old and it was founded by Ethiopians and African Americans. So when I got to Abyssinian Church, I wanted to find a way to really bring together my passion for African development and Abyssinian Baptist church’s own history. And that’s really how we started Abyssinian Fund together. And when we decided to work in Africa, Ethiopia was of course the logical place for us because the church has such a really strong and rich history with the nation of Ethiopia.”

Reverend Richards describes Abyssinian Fund as an independent NGO formed by the Abyssinian Baptist church with the goal to reduce poverty in Ethiopia. “We try to do that by partnering with local coffee farming communities to increase their incomes, to provide training and equipment for them, and at the same time encouraging them to reinvest in their communities,” Richards explained. He pointed out that his group is working to create a market in the U.S. for Abyssinian Fund coffee grown in Harar, where buyers and donors would be asked to pay premium price – at least a dollar above market value, and that would be re-invested into the partnering coffee farm co-op in Ethiopia.

“And so this work, if nothing else, I hope that it is able to bridge communities together,” Rev. Richards said.

Watch the following video for the full interview with Reverend Nicholas Richards of the Abyssinian Fund.

Video: Harlem – Ethiopia Connection – President of Abyssinian Fund (TADIAS TV)

1 Response to “Abyssinian Fund, Coffee, Harlem and Ethiopia Connection (TADIAS Video)”

  1. 1 Oiecha Onni_Onné Jul 15th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    ” The Journey of a 1000 miles begins with One Step” is saying and appropriate here, I think. This is one of those posetive first steps that I have seen in a long time .

    For one thing, as Rev. Roberts well put it , it is “Coming Home” and/or “Going Home”to African American. It is a Search for Roots!! It is a Search for Identity!! To them, it is more that an “investing” their Good Will . Hence we should be able to handled diplomatically, delicately, with Respect it deserves. A Search for identity is One of the Hardest assignments that one can ever undertake.

    Ethiopians,I believe, can express this Proactively. Ethiopian and Ethio-Americans who reside in the USA can visit this 200 year old Church in Harlem and try to be part of its Fabric. I do that whenever I am in New York. Ever since I have been here. This will be one way of appreciations.

    It also reminded me of the Late , that Gentle Giant, Abané Yishaq. He wanted to open a Big Ethiopian Tent for the African Diaspora. His primary focus was on Jamiacca but it was to have been a Starting Point for the Long Journey He Dreamed. He wanted to Hag and Bless all the African in the Diaspora.

    I am grateful for all those who are behind the Abi-Fund. And Rev Edwards is an articulate young Man
    Oiecha Onni_Onné

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