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The Fregenet Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing early childhood education to children from low-income families in Ethiopia.


The Fregenet Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) corporation founded to honor the life and the lifetime dreams of Fregenet Tafesse Woubshet, a 29-year-old American citizen of Ethiopian origin, who died in an auto accident in the summer of 2003. She had just completed her education in accounting, and was about to embark on the work she saw for herself ahead: the support of her family in Ethiopia and, in the longer term, the assistance of the children of Ethiopia. She envisioned a day when she would open a school for needy children there.

In the weeks following Fregenet’s untimely death, we, her family and friends, vowed that she should not be forgotten. She was good beyond measure, selfless and idealistic. The surest way to keep her alive in our hearts was to follow through with the mission she had chosen for herself: to help needy children in her native country.

The mission of the Fregenet Foundation is to:

  • Prepare and equip the future leaders of the community.
  • Provide high quality early education as a means to overcome poverty, reduce AIDS, gender inequality and political oppression to needy children would otherwise receive no education or a deeply inferior one.
  • Make education central to the community and remove obstacles to education such as health, poverty, hunger, confidence, lack of information and despair.
  • Establish bonds between our students in Ethiopia and children all over the world by sponsoring music, travel, language and cultural education programs.
  • Monitor and assist Fregenet Kidan Lehitsanat graduates with tutoring, meals, and other essential resources as they continue their education after they leave our school


The first Fregenet School (Fregenet Kidan Lehitsanat) opened its doors in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the fall of 2004, and enrolled 31 children of ages 4 to 6 from a small and impoverished community in Addis Abeba. The student body was comprised of 16 girls and 15 boys from poor families, and HIV/AIDS orphans. In the school’s tenth year of operation, the number of students enrolled has grown to 286. Out of the 286 students total, 169 students are from preschool to 4th grade at Fregenet School and 117 of them are from grade 5 to grade 8 in a near by public school.

Now, the Fregenet Kidan Lehitsanat School’s enrollment has increased by more than 500% and the staff has more than tripled.