Village of Adami Tulu

Nestled in the rolling hills of southern Ethiopia about three hours south of Addis Ababa, sit the two towns of Ziway and Adami Tulu.  Adami Tulu is a tiny, impoverished village of about 9,000 people, while Ziway is a bigger, more commercial town of about 50,000.  Lifesong partners with Misgana Ministries to operate schools in both towns.

The model that Lifesong employs in its schools – excellent education combined with two meals every school day – enable families to stay together, and kids to break the cycle of poverty and grow up into self-sufficiency. 100% of all donations to Lifesong go into the field, directly changing the lives of orphans and vulnerable children.

100% of all donations to Lifesong go into the field, directly changing the lives of orphans and vulnerable children.

In 2010, the Ziway + Adami Tulu Project was founded to expand the school from 70 to 210 students. A group of team leaders was formed that raised over $40,000 to build the new building with four classrooms, new restroom facilities, and a security fence around the Adami Tulu property.

After the project’s completion in August 2011, much of the team traveled to Adami Tulu to put the finishing touches on the building and plan for next steps. The result was a three year plan to build out the school site to a capacity of about 500 students, covering Nursery, Lower Kindergarten, Upper Kindergarten, and first through fourth grades.

In 2011, the team raised $220,000 to expand both campuses.  In time for the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, a four-classroom building was constructed at the Adami Tulu campus, along with a  two-story, eight-classroom building at the Ziway Primary campus.

Three Fundraising Priorities

New Classrooms Built in 2011

New Facilities.  To meet the needs of our expanding student body, occasionally we have one-time capital fund needs in order to improve and expand our facilities.

Child Sponsors. Lifesong has found a variety of one-time and ongoing fundraising programs to pay for the operational costs of the school, but we need to step up and develop a sustained source of funding to pay for teachers, food, cooks, supplies and all of the other operating costs. The school will continue to operate on a very lean budget of approximately $15 per child, per month.

Sustainable Business Ventures. Our mission is to end the global orphan crisis by bringing self-sufficiency to Africa. A key part of that endeavor will be investing in the startup of business ventures which will be part-owned by the school and will, over time, grow to sustain all of the school’s operating costs, while providing employment opportunities to local citizens. The team is actively at work developing plans for this initiative and will be sharing more information in the near future.

Key Statistics

    • 2009 Student Count:  210
    • 2010 Student Count: 430
    • 2011 Student Count: 570
    • 2012 Student Count:  830
    • 2013 Student Count:  970
    • 2014 Student Count:  1,081

  • Operating Cost: Currently about $15/month per student (teachers, cooks, food, supplies and operations…100% spent in Ethiopia on education, zero on US administration)
  • Student Tuition: $1.50/month
  • Percentage of Students who can pay Tuition: 30%
  • Use of Surpluses: All surplus funds support operating costs for kids without a sponsor, and then for maintenance and construction of classroom facilities