In 1999, CHAMPRO® management participated in a trade mission to Ethiopia that was sponsored by the Ethio-American Trade and Investment Council (EATIC), which lead to the inception of a joint-venture garment factory between CHAMPRO® and an Ethiopian investor. In June 2002, Secretary of State Paul O'Neill and Bono, lead singer of U2 and activist, visited CHAMPRO®'s joint venture factory and were complimentary of its operation. They went on to tell the accompanying press contingent, that the CHAMPRO factory could provide a model for investment, trade and development in Africa. CHAMPRO® has continued to support the efforts of EATIC by consulting with the Ethiopian government on regulatory reform, advising potential investors and leading several trade delegations to Ethiopia. CHAMPRO® has worked with a non-profit organization to push U.S. Congress to renew several key provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Renewal of these provisions to this trade legislation has enabled Ethiopia and other Sub-Saharan African countries to continue developing their garment industries and become globally competitive.
In 2001, the CHAMPRO® School was founded in Qarsa, Ethiopia to provide educational opportunities for children in a community that never had a school. The CHAMPRO® School was started with one grade in 2001. A new classroom was added each year to accommodate the next grade until the school had eight grades. The school now educates more than 600 students. Students that graduate from the CHAMPRO School attend a high school in a neighboring town. As the development of the school progressed, poor sanitation in Quarsa was identified as a frequent cause of bacterial infections in both youth and adults. CHAMPRO® initiated, and is currently funding, a clean water project that involves drilling a 137-meter deep well and the installation of a pump, generator, reservoir and water distribution points. Clean water will soon be accessible at the CHAMPRO® School in Qarsa and a neighboring community. The system will be completed by the end of 2011 and will provide water to more than 6,000 local residents. Last year CHAMPRO completed a new building of classrooms and will construct a new teacher’s dormitory before the end of this year.
CHAMPRO® formed a partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects in 2011. Eden Reforestation Projects' mission is to recreate healthy forest systems that restore hope, alleviate suffering, empower people and build local economies in impoverished communities. This year, CHAMPRO Sports® plans to drive reforestation efforts by financing the planting of more than 800,000 trees in Ethiopia.
CHAMPRO® promotes and enables participation in team sports and athletic activities for disadvantaged youth in the Chicago area and around the world. This program provides athletic equipment, uniforms and financial support for organizations including the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago. It also provides free equipment and fully funded scholarships, enabling inner city youth to attend summer camp in southern Wisconsin.