Dream BIG Dreams

Our mission is to inspire and enable youth in Ethiopia through READY SET GO books, STEM and Innovation Projects in collaboration with individuals and organizations providing literacy, education, and leadership opportunities.

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The Ready Set Go Books Adventure

The #ReadySetGo books project, by far our biggest and most ambitious undertaking, has indeed been on some adventures. It really is amazing where reading can take you!

Our main project is Ready Set Go Books, an innovative attempt to increase literacy in Ethiopia. We serve as the publisher of these attractive books and look for ways to get them into the hands of Ethiopian families.

First, we needed to create and publish books. In 2018, we developed the capabilities of a publisher with both creative and production sides. By the end of 2019, we created 80 unique titles in print-on-demand and Kindle formats, and added Tigrinya for all titles. We are also in process to publish all titles in Afaan Oromo. More than 300 people have given their time and talents. All proceeds go back into the project.

Second, we needed to get the books printed and distributed locally as well as train teachers to use these books in Ethiopia. Ethiopia Reads has been our main collaborating partner here. We provided substantial funding and created the book files needed for the printing in 2018 and 2019. Together, we printed over 106K books in five Ethiopian languages; distributed to more than 150 schools and trained 300 educators.

All of which is great, but there are 3 MM first graders in Ethiopia, so we still have ALOT of work yet to do. With your help, our goal is to create a total of 200 unique titles and distribute them to kids all over Ethiopia. No kid should go through their childhood without colorful, fun books to practice their reading skills and discover more about their world.

We also piloted what we’ve called Model Projects. We look for gaps or innovative programs to which we can provide Model Program funding and expertise to in order to scale for bigger impact. A requirement of the program is that the receiving organization documents their efforts, collaborates with other organizations, and provides matching funding/support. To date, we have:

  • Piloted the first girls 6-week coding school in Addis with Lebawi Academy
  • Created a transition scholarship program to help deserving high school seniors get over the last hurdle to attend a university with Project Ethiopia
  • Developed a new Read to Mom literacy program with MDC
  • Provided STEM training for high schoolers with QMe, US Embassy American Corners, and local Ethiopia universities
  • Given support to innovative teachers with Project Ethiopia

We have BOLD goals to improve the literacy rate of a country that means so much to us after adopting our daughter from Ethiopia in 2008, and create more learning opportunities for these kids. We need your help to do it.

Stop the Lion in Tigrinya

How to Get Involved

Preview Some of Our Model Projects

OHBD is focused on increasing game-changing efforts. We believe in the power of collaboration across organizations and the power of storytelling to share innovative approaches. Our main project remains Ready Set Go books to increase literacy through which we've essentially become a publisher.

We are also honored to collaborate with organizations to elevate and amplify their most effective efforts. Model Program grant recipients are required to document the program we fund and agree to share with other organizations or help them implement a similar program in the future. We work with each grant participant to try to improve their program in some way, making it more innovative or increasing its impact. This year we awarded four grants.

Local Printing and Distribution: Ethiopia Reads

The largest grant we have awarded to date went to Ethiopia Reads which has a 17-year history of successfully planting and maintaining libraries as well as educator training. This award supports our #RSG books and literacy focus.

Technology Focused Learning for Girls: Lebawi

The second grant we awarded funded the first Summer Girls Programming Class through Lebawi and aligns with our technology focus. Lebawi, also known as the International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia has graduated award-winning technologists that are now studying in the best universities around the globe so they were a natural choice for us.

Leadership for the Future: Project Ethiopia

Our third grant was awarded to Project Ethiopia for a Model Program related to leadership support designed to expand and grow its innovative transition scholarship program. This program ensures talented high schoolers make it to the local universities that have accepted them by providing transition scholarships to cover the costs of travel and necessities to get from their rural homes to the university, at a cost of $200 USD per student.