Lifeline from Cleveland

The Lifeline Project

Detroit-Superior Bridge The Northeast Ohio area is rich in natural resources, with fresh water being one of its key assets. Along with its diverse population, mature industrial base, and its wealth of educational, medical, and high-tech organizations (to name but a few), it is poised to weather the coming era of increased insecurity brought on by resource scarcity. The Lifeline project seeks to assert the many benefits this region has to offer for the coming decades, as well as to emphasize the extreme contrast of its many riches in comparison to the pressing needs that are already present in so many other regions, specifically as related to the need for fresh water. To that end, we have constructed a waterfall atop one of Cleveland’s most iconic landmarks, the Detroit-Superior bridge. We wish for it to serve as a visual symbol of the fortunate abundance of this entire region.

It is our hope that this waterfall will initiate a discussion amongst citizens of the Northeast Ohio area about the region’s future. The water used for this project is a resource that exists in wonderful abundance in Lake Erie, and the creation of this waterfall is a celebration of water and its bounty within a region that promises to be water-rich for the foreseeable future. Because not all regions have the availability of fresh water that we in Northeast Ohio enjoy, Lifeline has located a community in Ethiopia, Tsira Tsion, which is almost entirely self-sufficient, but one that continues to struggle because of its lack of a viable source of fresh water. This community, which has established remarkable schools to educate its youths, and local gardens to feed its population, has a plan in place to build a fresh water well within its premises, but lacks the funds to proceed. To that end, Lifeline has set this site to allow participants to donate a dollar to Tsira Tsion for every gallon cycled through the waterfall. While we cannot physically ship water to Tsira Tsion, it is our hope that the abundance of the Northeast Ohio region can thus be shared in a way that can have the power to permanently sustain this and other communities.

About Tsira Tsion

Tsira Tsion is an intentional community in Ethiopia, located near the capital city of Addis Ababa. This community is exemplary in its pursuit of a self-sustaining and forward thinking model, especially in the midst of resource-deprived Ethiopia.  Members not only help themselves by living sustainably, but they also help the larger, surrounding area.  For example, they have built their own K-12 school accessible to those outside of their community.  All kids going to kindergarten go to school for free, including free breakfasts and lunches.  Students who cannot afford to pay for schooling beyond kindergarten are given free uniforms, books, and lunches.  Elderly that are poor, weak, and/or homebound, and who live around the Tsira Tsion community, can come to the community’s compound (or send their relatives) and pick up one meal a day.   The community of Tsira Tsion also has a small cottage industry to sustain its livelihood. It has cows for milk that members use and also sell, and they make and sell some of the best peanut butter in the market.  Members are also in the process of building a school of theology for individuals that want to serve in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.  They are exemplary because they have figured out how to be self-sustaining and, at the same time, improve their greater community above religious and ethnic boundaries.  They simply want to help others that have less that they do.  Ironically, their biggest problem in continuing their efforts is accessing water.

To that end, the community has put together an extensive plan to build their own well and infrastructure that will support the various buildings located on the premises: a project that is estimated to cost in excess of $200,000 USD. They need our help. Make a donation now and help this community become self-sustaining.

Why Ethiopia?

The selection of a community within Ethiopa to connect with has nothing to do with the stereotypes we have may hold about this region being one that is desparetely in need, nor was it a conscious choice to exclude assistance to a community that is closer by. Instead, we chose simply to celebrate the facts of the artists' nationalities – American and Ethiopian – to extend the metaphor of the medium we are dealing with: a waterfall atop a bridge that connects two places.