Meet Founder and Director of Fresh and Green Academy, Muday Mitiku


Muday – The Heart and Soul of Fresh and Green Academy

Friends of Fresh and Green Academy was inspired by the Fresh and Green Academy in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, a school founded 12 years ago by a local Ethiopian teacher, Muday Mitiku.  Friends of Fresh and Green helps support the children of the academy with funds for food, education, and a safe environment so Muday can continue the school and its crucial work within the larger community.

Muday was born an only child in Kasanchis, Addis Ababa.  She was enrolled in a private school from kindergarten and continued there until the sixth grade, after which she enrolled in government school; Garji. She has been a member of the Baha’i religion from the age of nine and started teaching children at the Baha’i center when she was fifteen.

Muday started her secondary education at Bole Medaham then joined a teachers college; B.G.K. in 1999 for a diploma in teaching and later pursued Business Management at City College.

Muday’s teaching and business training, as well as her experience teaching at the Baha’i center, motivated her to open her own learning institution.  She started Fresh and Green as a “for profit” kindergarten in 2000 with a business partner. When she started to bring in kids off the streets, free of charge, the school lost money. Muday soon partnered with Friends of Fresh and Green Academy and, with hard work, dedication, and help from many generous donors, the school has since become a beacon of hope for the community.

Today, with help from many people, Fresh and Green Academy is providing 125 in-need children with education and nutrition. Along with the government required curriculum, the students enjoy classes in Art, Music, English, Computers, and Values and Morals. The children and their families are now drinking clean water as well.

Muday is a friend, wife, mother, and visionary.  Her passion has become our passion and Muday’s dream has become our dream. Together we all can make a difference in the world.

Support Fresh and Green Academy by Sponsoring a Child

Monetary donations are a crucial part of the existence of Fresh and Green Academy and the “Child Sponsorship Program” helps guarantee the school will operate and the children will be fed. Every month barely enough money is sent to cover the costs of teachers salaries, food and rent. With your generous donations all the children will receive three meals a day and a quality education.

Approximate monthly school expenses:



Mothers Coop Salaries-$1000.00 (From the sales of their goods)

Food for 140 children three times a day-$3000.00

For $35.00 a month, the price of a dinner out, you will help all 140 students of Fresh and Green Academy eat three nutritious meals a day, have access to medical care, and continue to thrive in a loving and caring learning environment.  You will receive periodic updates on the specific child you have sponsored but will be helping all the children.

Use the “Sponsor A Student” link to start helping today!


Fresh and Green Academy: An Oasis for Our Students

The students who attend Fresh and Green Academy live in poverty that is unimaginable for most of our visitors. Even those who have been to impoverished areas and who have familiarity with life in the Third World are sobered by the reality of the challenging situation they find when they visit a student’s home.

     Bogale Kumela is a first-grader at Fresh and Green, along with his brother, Wakigra. He lives with his eight siblings and two parents in a six-by-six foot “apartment.” In this tiny space, eleven people live, eat, sleep, and cook. There is no electricity or plumbing. The floor is rocky dirt, and the tin roof does not keep the rain out.
     Approaching Bogale’s home, the driver has to stop on the main road. It’s too bumpy to continue. On the left side of the road are what looks like rows and rows of henhouses, corrugated tin shacks about 12 feet wide by sixty feet long. Each building is divided into ten “apartments,” each housing a large family like Bogale’s. The path between each set of buildings is about four feet wide and serves as both sewer and entry way.
     In order to reach the buildings one must cross over a rushing culvert on a rickety bridge with no railings. The bridge is not made out of boards, it is rounded tree branches wedged in together with maybe one or two screws to hold it together. In the rainy season, the slick bark of the branches makes the crossing seem perilous, and yet it is the only way for the residents to access their home.
     Bogale’s mother, Arakash, does not participate in the Mother’s Cooperative. She spends her days combing Addis Ababa’s meager trash piles in order to find food and items to sell. And Bogale has an older brother, Fakahdu, who has cerebral palsy. Whenever possible, Arakash takes him along, but sometimes she must lock him in their apartment because he cannot navigate the rocky roads she must travel to scavenge. Bogale’s other siblings beg for food. Sadly, Bogale’s father does not contribute much to the family’s income. He drinks with whatever money he brings in by begging.
     Bogale and Wakigra walk an hour-and-a-half each way to attend school at Fresh and Green, where they are fed three nutritious meals a day and an outstanding education that will help them stop the vicious cycle of poverty into which they were born.
     Fresh and Green Academy is truly an oasis, a life-enriching and beautiful place for our students to come every day. Your donations make this possible. Thank you for visiting the site, and if you are so inclined, make a donation so that together, we may continue to make a difference in a world so very, very different from our own.

Travel information

Traveling to the Academy as a Volunteer (updated January 2016)

Many people have expressed interest in visiting Fresh and Green Academy, and volunteers are always welcome.  The school is located in the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We travel there approximately every three months with a group of volunteers to transport large bags of donated clothing, books, toys, soaps and more. We spend time playing with the children and talking with the parents and staff. Volunteers may choose to interact with the children by teaching English, dancing, drawing or other activities. We also implement hands-on projects to improve the conditions and facilities at the academy. A day trip away from the city is also an option. The average trip is a week long, and volunteers can stay for as short as one day or continue their travels in Ethiopia or throughout Africa for a longer period of time.

Many answers to your questions can be found in the attached volunteer guide FFG Volunteer Hand Book

We do ask that you inform us of your intentions to enable us to better plan the trip. We can only accommodate 7-8 volunteers per trip, so please feel free to contact us at any time for information on the next available trip.

Immunizations and Health Information for Ethiopia

Before visiting Ethiopia, you may need to get specific vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases found throughout Ethiopia and Africa.  Use this site to get the most up-to-date vaccination information from the Centers for Disease Control. You should plan to start your immunizations about two months before your trip, and we advise that you contact a travel medicine clinic in order to get the best advice possible about which immunizations are best for you. Friends of Fresh and Green does not reimburse volunteers and visitors for immunization costs.

Flights (non-airline employees)

Travel from the United States can be done on Ethiopian Airlines (a Star Alliance carrier) to Addis Ababa (ADD) from Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) and Los Angeles International (LAX) or through Europe with an airline change. Ethiopian Airlines also flies directly to ADD from Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada (YYZ).  Flight information can be found on various travel sites through

Flights (airline employees)

Many of our volunteers come from the airline industry. Airline employees can travel to Addis Ababa (ADD) on other airlines with ZED fare tickets. Each volunteer is free to choose his/her preferred route and date for travel back to the States. ZED fare tickets from ADD to Europe (Amsterdam, Paris etc.) are valid on ET, LH, AF, TK or KL and can be purchased for about $80. Volunteers are responsible for purchasing their own tickets. Back-up tickets are recommended.

Tourist Visa

A single entry tourist visa must be obtained upon arrival in ADD for $50.


The group usually stays at a guest house located 10 minutes from the Airport.  We make the reservation according to the number of volunteers and their preferences.  $65 a night includes breakfast daily, and other meals and laundry are available. Details will be provided if you express interest in visiting.


Breakfast is available at the guest house and is included in the daily rate. There are numerous coffee shops and restaurants within 4 blocks of the guest houuse. During the day, volunteers can grab a snack and a soda near the academy. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring their own snacks with them. At night, the group usually gets together for dinner in the downtown area of Addis (Bole).


The estimated cost of accommodations, ground transportation and meals is $700 – $900 for the week. Day trips and projects are extra. This amount does not include the air fare and immunizations. Friends of Fresh and Green does not provide travelers’ insurance for volunteers.

ATMs are scarce, do not always work with North American banks and few businesses accept credit cards. Therefore, please make sure to bring enough cash for your stay. Exchange is available at the airport and the guest house.

Registering with your Embassy

The Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens traveling or residing abroad to register via the State Department’s travel registration website or at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency and will enable you to receive up-to-date information on security conditions.

Similar procedures are encouraged for Canadian travelers, and more information can be accessed at and you can register for travel here.

Health and Travel Release Form

(Required when volunteering and traveling with Friends of Fresh and Green)

If you are traveling to Ethiopia as a volunteer with Friends of Fresh and Green Academy, you will need to read and sign the medical and travel release form  located in the back of the Volunteer Handbook in advance of your departure.  Please submit this form to your team leader at least one week prior to departure.


Highlights from April Trip to Fresh and Green Academy

The April trip to the school was a resounding success. Despite the fact that only six of our eight volunteers were able to make it this time (due to the volcano in Iceland disrupting air travel worldwide), the volunteers were able to deliver 12 duffel bags full of much-needed supplies: milk powder, clothing, shoes, toothbrushes, soap and jewelry making supplies for the Mother’s Cooperative.

The children are growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the three meals per day they are receiving. Many of them have lost or are losing their baby teeth, so we were met with a doznes of gap-toothed grins and more hugs and kisses than could be counted.

The highlight of the trip was the outing. We took the chuildren to Addis Ababa’s “Disneyland” for amusement park rides and ice cream! Almost all of the children had never been in a car before, much less the bus that took them, much less the merry-go-round, ferris wheel, giant slide and other rides. As you can imagine, the ice cream was a big hit: none of the kids had ever tasted anything that cold, and they were as astonished by it as they were delighted.

Muday continues her herculean efforts to keep the kids fed and clothed; nurturing their bodies, minds and spirits. The school exists solely because of your donations. Thank you again for being a Friend of Fresh and Green and for making this most recent trip something the children will remember for the rest of their lives.

Michael Gathmann, May 2009 visit

Michael Gathmann


On May 28,, 2009,  I had the pleasure of being able to visit the Fresh & Green Academy. It was my new hobby, geocaching, that brought the academy to my attention. Working for an airline, like the founders of this site, I do travel a lot, and as my flight took me to Addis, I decided not to miss this chance.

It was a very touching visit and experience. We (another crewmember accompanied me) were very impressed by what we saw and learned. We did miss the most important part, as May 28 was a public holiday, therefore the kids weren’t there, but Muday showed us the place, answered all our questions, and invited us to the coffee ceremony.

We felt very warm and welcome. I concider myself a new friend of the Fresh & Green Academy, will be happy to support with occacional donations, and will use my next Addis-Flight to bring along some useful things.

As Carlos Santana would say: “Peace, Light, Love and Joy” to everyone involved!!