You might not know this about Ethiopia…

Almost half of the 119,790,000 who live there are under 15


Over 80% live in rural areas w/o modern conveniences like electricity or running water.





Adult males:  59%
Adult females:  44%

Most Ethiopians live in the countryside and are subsistence farmers.  Access to medical care is either very limited or unavailable. Many of these rural areas do not have schools and education is simply non-existent.

Among three Muslim people groups in southern Ethiopia, NewLife has been instrumental in establishing 16 churches, with small Christian communities emerging in 9 other villages.  Most of the villages where churches have been built do not have a school nearby for children to attend.

These beautiful, intelligent children are growing up illiterate.

By the time a boy is old enough to walk for two hours to reach a school, his parents need him to help with the farm.  In the Muslim culture, girls/women rarely learn to read.



In each Muslim community where we have built a church, missionaries are holding literacy classes for two hours, three days a week.

NewLife has provided the missionaries with training and the necessary tools to teach children the basics of reading.

Blackboards, phonics charts and individual slates with chalk entice village children, ages 8-14, to the church…

where they are eagerly learning the sounds each letter makes and how they go together to make words.  After formal class, the missionary shares a story from the bible with his students.

Meet Momima… a young girl whose defined role until she marries is to help her mother and her father’s other wives find firewood, haul water and take care of the babies. One day, a friend asked Momima to come with her to the Christian church where a man was teaching children to read.  She was mesmerized with the lessons and was soon given a slate board and chalk to practice writing the letters.  She loved learning letters and sounds and how the letters made words!  She also relished the story at the end of class that caused her to ponder what Jesus the Savior, very different than Allah, was like.

The next step in this literacy program is to provide books for the students to practice reading.  Children’s books in Ethiopia are scarcer than village schools!  Recognizing the need for children’s readers, a visionary, Ellenore Angelidis, did something about it.  She founded Open Hearts Big Dreams and she and a team of educators started a local language book project called ‘Ready Set Go’.  The books are culturally relevant to Ethiopia with titles like The Runaway Injera that engage beginners through elementary level.



Help us build a small library in each of our churches!  The books, published in Ethiopia, cost $10 for four beginning readers.