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Same mission... Stronger umbrella. The Tesfa Foundation is joining Ethiopia Reads.

In 2010, Dana Roskey, founder of the Tesfa Foundation did an assessment of Ethiopia Reads programs, creating a report for the board of directors about which projects were working well and which projects could use re-design or changes. The board was impressed by Dana's thoughtful suggestions and his thrifty ways—taking the public bus to Awassa when needed for instance—and his willingness to spend many hours talking with officials, donors, and with people in local Ethiopian communities to craft individual projects that fit local circumstances and opportunities.

In 2011, Dana added the coordination of Ethiopia Reads projects in Ethiopia to his role as Executive Director of the Tesfa Foundation, which has focused on smart, sustainable ways to provide greater access to education for children in Ethiopia. During the year, Ethiopia Reads and the Tesfa Foundation began to collaborate on several projects. For example...

  •  An Ethiopia Reads donor provided money for a library in the Old Sarum kindergarten in Mercato—and the Open Hearts/Big Dreams fundraiser in Seattle raised money for the school's operations and to expand library services into the community.
  • The Ethiopia Reads board established a library in honor of the Cunningham family and their support of literacy efforts (see video done by Art Aid for Tesfa, a project of the Tefsa Foundation) in Addis Tesfa school, a site of Tesfa Foundation work.
  • Ethiopia Reads and the Tesfa Foundation collaborated on fundraising to build a school for primary students in Kololo, thanks to the powerful vision of JC Marie, an adoptive mom in Los Angeles.
  • An Ethiopia Reads donor raised money in her Canadian community to create a library in Dukem, an area where Tesfa had created a school.

In 2012, Ethiopia Reads contracted with Dana to become Executive Director of Ethiopia Reads, and serious conversations began about how to develop the strategic partnership between Ethiopia Reads and the Tesfa Foundation. After much conversation with boards and staff? Well, interesting changes afoot! This summer Ethiopia Reads will take the lead on all the Tesfa Foundation educational programs: two grassroots organizations joining hands to reach more kids with more books and thinking skills and art.


Monday, July 02, 2012


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