Crochet kid Jonah Larson funds science lab in Ethiopia, raising money for school bathroom | Local News
La Crosse crochet sensation Jonah Larson has skyrocketed since January 2019, promoting his commitment to educating Ethiopian youth.
Made a local and national star based on his quick crochet skills according to the Tribune’s profile, Jonah is the founder of the Jonah’s Hands brand, which includes arts and crafts, fashion, books and more. Popularity came quickly, with a fashion collaboration and appearances in magazines and countless high profile TV shows. Meanwhile, Jonah has maintained his philanthropic vision and has continued to support Roots Ethiopia.
Crochet kid Jonah Larson is raising money to build a toilet to replace the school outbuilding (pictured) in his Ethiopian village where he was born.
Jonah, 13, was born in Durame, southeast Ethiopia and adopted as a child by Jennifer and Christopher Larson of La Crosse, also parents of son Leif and daughter Mercy. In late winter 2019, he launched a Go Fund Me to help Roots Ethiopia build a library and science center, with donations from all over the world. Drew Barrymore, whose talk show of the same name, on which Jonah is a regular correspondent, contributed several thousand dollars.
The Jonah’s Hands Library, which looks after over 2,000 students, was followed by the recently completed Jonah’s Hands-on Science Lab at the Teza Gerba School. The trainer is Ato Meharu, who was awarded a medal for outstanding teaching achievements on the National Teachers Day 2020/2021.
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“I can’t describe what it feels like to know that all these children can study in a well-equipped science laboratory. The real hero is Mr. Meharu, who won a gold medal for excellent teaching, ”says Jona. “Without Meharu-san, the science lab is just a room full of equipment. I very much hope that one day I can meet and thank him.”
With two major projects under his belt, Jonah has plans to build toilets for the school, which is currently using a rundown outbuilding.
“The latrine project I’m currently raising money for is more expensive than the science lab or library I’ve already built,” says Jonah. “It’s more complicated because it has to do with plumbing, for example.”
Jonah has already raised money by auctioning some of his crochet creations and receiving an additional $ 5,500 from Barrymore for the project. It will take around $ 7,000 and individuals can donate at https://jonahhands.com/.
As part of his continued work on the Drew Barrymore Show, Jonah recently performed live from New York and was surprised, in addition to the Barrymore donation, with a video message from Olympic gold medalist and talented crochet master Tom Daley. The Brit is almost as famous for his handmade knit and crochet sweaters as he is for diving.
Jonah loved the news and said, “An Olympic gold medal shows that you are the best in the world – that’s amazing. I joked with him that maybe one day crocheting will be in the Olympics.
While Jonah is busy with virtual school – “Vorkalkül is not a picnic,” he jokes – and his brand, he still takes time to crochet.
“Somehow it just doesn’t feel right if my hands aren’t doing something creative and new,” says Jonah, who is the ambassador for a new line of yarn called Graph-it. “Crocheting is so much fun and it relaxes me so I can always find time to work on some seams.”
More information about Roots Ethiopia can be found at https://rootsethiopia.org/. To donate to Go Fund Me for the bathroom project, visit https://rb.gy/52flhi.
Videos: La Crosse crochet wonder Jonah Larson
Jonah Larson teaches Harlem Globetrotter to crochet
Jonah Larson leads the La Crosse Tribune through his work
Jonah Larson on the ‘Today’ Show
Jonah Larson on the “CBS Evening News”
Jonah Larson on “Pickler and Ben”
Emily Pyrek can be reached at [email protected]
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