• Fana-Ethiopia has offered trainings on learning and communication difficulties to over 3000 teachers, 350 parents and 200 school administrators.

  • Over 500 children have been assessed and received direct help and support.




For information about this grant, please visit our Grant Database.





1. Strengthen teacher capacity





- 1 in 5





In the media

Local FM radio stations have conducted a series of interviews with Fana-Ethiopia’s managing director.




Contact person for Oak LDP grant

Name: Dr. Abebayehu Messele Mekonnen

Email: abebayehu.m@fanaethio.org



Website & social media links

“I knew that I wasn’t stupid, but I couldn’t explain to anyone—not even to myself—why I wasn’t able to read. I was made to feel stupid at school, and I was eventually forced to leave only because I am dyslexic. Consequently, I was clinically depressed and had been on medication for 2 years. With the help and support I received at Fana-Ethiopia, I am now totally a different person—happy and successful. I can’t thank Fana-Ethiopia enough for remaking me!”

– A 19-year-old man with dyslexia



What have you accomplished through your Oak-funded programme that you’re most proud to share with your colleagues?


  • Over 3000 teachers, 350 parents and 200 school administrators have received trainings on learning and communication difficulties;
  • Over 500 children have been assessed and received help and support;
  • Various materials (e.g., booklets, brochures, fliers, etc.) aimed at providing relevant information on major learning and communication issues have been prepared and disseminated to teachers, parents and the public at large; and
  • Culturally and linguistically relevant assessment and intervention toolkits have been prepared.



What’s the most interesting challenge your Oak-funded programme currently faces?


  • Lack of awareness of what we do: As our project is the first of its kind in the country, when we approach various governmental officials, the main problem we encounter is trying to get them understand what we do and the relevance of our work to the society.
  • Local Charity policies, i.e., the laws dictating what percentage of money should be spent on what: This remains to be a challenge that we have to deal with in the years to come, as the government shows no sign of compromising on this.



Fana Association for Individuals with Learning and Communication Difficulties (Fana-Ethiopia) is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation that works to create awareness of learning and communication difficulties, and provide help and support to children with these difficulties, in Ethiopia. Its grant is providing core support for the fledgling organisation as it works to develop influence and build partnerships.

Advocating for children with learning and communication difficulties in Ethiopia



Established in 2012, Fana-Ethiopia’s ultimate goal is improving the quality of life of, and opportunities available to, Ethiopian individuals with learning and communication difficulties. While dyslexia and other learning disabilities may still be widely misunderstood in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, individuals there who have a formal identification as learning disabled are entitled to certain rights and services under disability laws. In many other countries, including Ethiopia, these rights and services are not available, and teachers are not routinely trained to identify or support students with learning differences. To begin to change this reality in countries such as Ethiopia, organisations must work on three fronts: policy, practice and perception. At the policy level, organisations must advocate for legal rights and protections for individuals with disabilities; at the practice level, organisations must encourage and empower schools and teachers to develop classroom atmospheres conducive to learning for all pupils; and at the perception level, organisations must communicate broadly to youth, teachers, parents and the general public about the reality of learning and communication difficulties and why current understanding limits the potential of millions of individuals. Fana-Ethiopia has already taken action on all three fronts and plans to continue this multi-pronged effort to change the country’s understanding of and support for youth with learning differences.






With Oak’s support, Fana-Ethiopia is continuing to build its influence and organisational capacity. Given a lack of even a basic understanding of specific learning difficulties in Ethiopia, Fana-Ethiopia is focusing much of its early work on the following:

Raising awareness of learning and communication difficulties among the general public;

  • Building the knowledge and skills of teachers and parents of affected populations in particular;
  • Shaping policies and legislation on disability in general and learning and communication difficulties in particular (this includes introduction of new policies in support of these individuals in schools, work places, courts, hospitals, etc.); and
  • Providing direct services to individuals with learning and communication difficulties.

An early success has included establishing partnerships with two major educational organisations, Rainbows4children and Yellow Brick, which have asked Fana to train Ethiopian teachers in these organisations' partner schools to work with children with learning and communication difficulties. More recently, for over a year now, Fana-Ethiopia has been working in partnership with a UK-based organisation called ChildHope on a project that supports about eighteen thousand girls towards improving their educational performance.



Our mission

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

Privacy Policy, Security Protocols and Terms of Use.


©2018 Oak Foundation. All rights reserved.


Our newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter. Read our previous newsletters.



General enquiries
For general enquiries, concerns, or further questions regarding the content in this website, please do not hesitate to contact the Communications Department.



Social Media