Seventeen years ago, the impoverished neighborhood of Kotebe, Ethiopia was about to be changed forever.
Local teacher Muday Mitiku had just opened a private preschool named Fresh and Green Academy. Kotebe, located just north of Addis Ababa, is home to more than 300,000 people, most of them living below the country's poverty line. That's saying a lot in a country where most people get by on less than $1,200 per year.
The preschool was a success. However, educating and feeding only the children whose parents could pay the tuition fee left Muday feeling frustrated and sad. There were still so many children were begging on the streets outside of the school.
She started teaching and feeding the local street children along with her already-enrolled students. After a few months, the parents of the paying students decided that they did not want their kids to study with street children. One by one all the paying students left.
In 2012, Muday formed The Muday Association, a registered charity in Ethiopia. It is a partnership of NGOs whose combined efforts are able to feed and educate 400 students, age three to fourteen.
Muday has taken many pre-school and kindergarten-age children into her care that were previously begging in the streets and living in at-risk conditions in poor families. As part of her project, she decided to provide each child with three meals per day, clothes and all school
materials needed for a successful education. Today, many of these children are affected by HIV-AIDS, either directly or indirectly within their households. These children live with either their immediate families or extended family members.
Additionally, Muday’s work addresses the needs of the children’s parents through the Mother’s Cooperation, which teaches mothers to make traditional items such as scarves, jewelry and shoes to sell for income. Through this cooperation, Muday was able to save many of these mothers from lives as beggars and prostitutes, making little money to support their children.
Today these women have the opportunity to learn a trade, sell the products they produce and earn a salary. The Mother’s Cooperation has changed the women’s lives, giving each the chance to be independent and self-confident.
There are currently 440 women involved in the project, but with local conditions and problems, many other people could benefit. The project needs to grow in order to support a larger number of people and to provide clothes, training and materials for these mothers to make their crafts.
The school and Cooperative are always short of funding. Please help us if you can. And if you are not able to donate at this time, spread the word about us. Every little bit helps!
NOTE: Paypal donations are managed in the United States by kmvilicich for Muday Charity. 100% of your donation is forwarded to Muday Charity in Ethiopia. Transfer charges, etc are payed by kmvilicich.