A message to our sponsors:
The founder of EYES (Empowering Young Ethiopians for Success) is the brainchild of Dr.
Shiferaw Gebre Mariam, Ph.D., President of the organization since the beginning. He was later
joined by his longtime friend Mr. Aklilu Demessie, who had similar interest. EYES Foundation
was established officially as a 501(c)(3) registered tax-exempted organization in December 2014 in
Pennington, New Jersey, USA and registered in Ethiopia as an NGO in June 2018.
Dr. Mariam grew up in Woliso and since childhood has observed the disparities between the
educational opportunities extended to boys and girls. Girls in Ethiopia have a soaring dropout
rate from primary school combined with a 41% child marriage rate. They have inadequate
adolescent health training, limited healthcare, and a lack of recreational and creative outlets.
Therefore, job opportunities and careers for females are limited. Firms with female senior
leadership make up fewer than 4% of companies in the country.
In addition, adolescent girls in Ethiopia suffer from a disproportionate share of early age
pregnancies, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which include HIV/AIDS,
gender-based violence and other serious reproductive health problems. A recent study indicated
that more than half of all the 3.27 million births annually are attributed to adolescents.
Ethiopian girls are being left behind: behind in education, in healthcare and in the workplace.
The aim of EYES Foundation is to provide STEME (Science, Technology, Engineering,
Mathematics and English) and natural science educational services, basic healthcare
assessments and healthcare training.
Furthermore, we are also providing sexual education and healthy living training to the two
secondary high schools in Woliso. Our holistic strategy seeks to address all the basic facets of
these girls’ educational and health needs, so they can become successful in school and life. Our
goal is to help low-income female students graduate from 12th grade, attend college in health-
related fields, and build their career through educational support, so they can help their
community and the development of their region and country. For more, please visit
In the last three years of its existence, the foundation has secured a longtime rental agreement of
a post office building from the city of Woliso and renovated it to fit its needs. The training facility
is equipped with internet access, computers, part time and fulltime faculty, a nurse, and social
workers. There are 8 salaried employees and over 12 part-time employees at the foundation
serving the needs of 75 students. Actual service to the students started 2 years ago and showing
positive progress in the lives of the students. This past year 40% of our girls in 12th grade passed
the national exam and are now enrolled in colleges. Our goal in the long term is to reach at least
an 80% high school graduation rate.
While the students in Woliso are high school students, we have also started to help about 20 girls
beginning from the 4th grade in Addis Ababa to establish if early intervention is more effective.
All 20 girls are now successfully promoted to 5th grade.The plan is to support up to 100 girls per year.
Thanks to the continued financial support from Johnson and Johnson (J&J) over the last three
years, we were able to start the projects and reach most of the goals of the foundation. Every
dollar donated is committed to project implementation and no donations are used for
administration or other purposes.
The involvement of these girls in the STEME and natural science educational programs not only
gives the women the opportunity for a better future, but also helps them secure better job
opportunities and break the cycle of poverty in their respective families. Our world is nothing but
what we help to make it. We have no doubt that with the help of J&J and our own fundraising
efforts, we will continue to help the students achieve college level education. Our motto is for them to
dream, achieve, succeed and give back to society.
Thank you very much for your support.
Shiferaw Gebre Mariam, Ph.D.
President, EYES Foundation