The Mothers’ Cooperative is a large and loving “extended family” for 90 women who have children attending Fresh and Green Academy. They come to the school three or four days a week to take classes in hygiene and child care, and to share their knowledge, wisdom and craft-making skills in jewelry and crochet.

Dressed in traditional clothing (head scarves and shawls), they sit near the edge of the schoolyard, working their crafts, smiling on their children and talking softly amongst themselves.

Each of the women in the Cooperative has their own story of how they came to find their way here, to Addis Ababa and to Fresh and Green. Many of the stories hold the commonality of desperation, prostitution, illness, abandonment and abuse. But they are also stories of hope, inspiration and of a sisterhood that they found in this tiny oasis of education and nourishment in Keteme.

By telling their stories, we hope you will be touched by their remarkable resilience, fortitude and dedication to their children. The Mothers’ Cooperative, started by Muday, is a neighborhood outreach program like no other: it is lifting entire families and an entire neighborhood out of poverty and into a new life full of promise.

The Mothers’ Cooperative is not funded through the student sponsorship program. We are able to fund it only through the sales of the crafts the mother’s make, and things that are donated to us that we bring to Africa for them to sell at their store.

We hope someday to be able to sell their wonderful jewelry online, but in the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more about donation opportunities for the mothers, please drop us an email or Trish Hack-Rubinstein at (01) 646.567.7672.