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May 22, 2018

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We are very thrilled to announce that we are embarking on an exciting new project that aims to expand children’s access to education beyond Addis Ababa which, up to now, has constituted the Fregenet Foundation’s principal site of activity. This new project is expected to reach a larger number of children from underprivileged backgrounds 26 miles outside of the Ethiopian capital.

Our new undertaking, while a departure of sorts, still fits well within the organizing mission of the Fregenet Foundation (TFF). The Foundation believes that education is a human rights issue and that every that person deserves a chance to education. This is the central mission of TFF and a major reason for its establishment. Since its inception in 2004, the Foundation has invested all the resources at its disposal (human, material and financial) to provide access to high quality early education to children who come from extremely poor economic backgrounds.

TFF has initiated this new bold project as part of its strategic plan for the future. This new undertaking aims to construct Early Childhood Education units inside existing public-school compounds outside of the capital, as well as within the environs of Addis Ababa.  These new school facilities will be operated by local public-school administrations and education bureaus rather than TFF. In other words, we will construct the physical facilities and pass them on as a turnkey project. The schools themselves will be operated by the local education bureaus. These community-based model schools and units will house a library, a computer lab, a cafeteria, and a clinic and serve the educational and social needs of preschool and kindergarten age children. The library, the clinic and the computer lab serve not only the students but the surrounding neighborhood communities as well. Although TFF will not be responsible for the day-to-day running of the schools, it will work with respective school administrations and education bureaus to ensure that the program’s quality and see that the Foundation’s standards are maintained.

Accordingly, TFF has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bishoftu (formerly Debre Zeit) Education Bureau to build its first model school on a little less than a 12,000 square meter plot of land provided for free by the city’s administration. The school, which will be named Fregenet Dembi Primary School, will house six classrooms each with a capacity to accommodate 30 students from Grade 1 to Grade 4. The Bishoftu Project, as it will be called, will represent a win-win situation for both the Foundation and the local administration as both entities strive to make education accessible to vulnerable children.

The concept design presented by Fregenet has been approved by the local administration and the soil investigation for the plot has been completed. Currently, volunteer architects and engineers are working on the structural, electrical, and sanitary designs to prepare the bill of quantity. We expect that this will be ready in the coming weeks which will allow us to start the application for construction permit.

For now, the model school is estimated to cost between $352,000 US and $400,000 US. TFF has already started reaching out to friends and supporters to support this noble project and the reaction from the public so far has been very encouraging. We would like to take this opportunity to thank wholeheartedly Metaferia Consulting Engineers, Consulting Architects & Engineers P.L.C for doing the Bishoftu project design and construction supervision on pro bono basis. We also have the support of BLUDOT Service PLC, a Grade-III independent firm of consulting architects & engineers “with a tradition in the design and management of a wide range of architectural & civil engineering projects in both private and public sectors”, who have partnered with us to do similar future projects for our model school in Addis Ababa.

We are also highly encouraged by our new partners, Alpha Trading Partners P.L.C, in addition to Metaferia and Blue Dot engineering firms. With their commitment and action-oriented support, we are striving to make a qualitative difference on the mission we began 14 years ago.

We have an important project at hand and an exciting future on the horizon for us and the thousands of students we are helping get the education they deserve. Realizing this significant undertaking requires, as usual, our collective effort and we are humbled and honored to ask our esteemed supporters and friends to extend their help as we move ahead with our plan. We have come this far only because of your continued support and your generosity. It gives us immense pleasure to inform you, our supporters and friends, that every bit of your support that you give in many forms, from ideas to money to skills, is making a difference in the lives and future of a growing number of children.

The Fregenet Foundation