1) Adams Thermal Foundation Ethiopia (ATFE)

In August of 2015, the government of Ethiopia officially recognized Adams Thermal Foundation Ethiopia as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). The Foundation maintains an office and administrative staff in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia which supports the schools and "Self-Help" programs in Hosanna and Ottoro. Foundation staff based in Canton, South Dakota USA oversee and manage the operations in Ethiopia.

Nega Megersa Hurisa, Country Director

Recent Updates

5th Annual Scramble for Ethiopia

Published Fri, Sep 03, 2021.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our 5th Annual Scramble for Ethiopia Golf Tournament this past weekend. The event was held at the Hidden Valley Golf Course in Brandon, SD on Saturday morning, and the weather was almost perfect! At one point we heard thunder, and received a very few raindrops, but otherwise it was warm and sunny and relatively calm.
Our goal for the event was 10-10-10 - ten teams playing, ten child sponsorships and $10,000 raised - and we came very close to nailing it! We ended up with 8 teams, 2 short of that goal, but met the sponsorship goal of 10 and exceeded the fundraising goal by over $5,000!
Following the golf,  everyone feasted on classic burgers and brats off the grill,  with all the fixings, and prizes were awarded to the winning teams. Pin prizes were handed out and most everyone left with a prize!
We're grateful for everyone that came out to support the 5th Annual Scramble for Ethiopia. And we're especially grateful to our awesome sponsors who made this event possible.
  • Midland National
  • Samuelson Development
  • The Huisken Family Foundation
  • VanHorn Financial
Finally, our heartfelt thanks to Stan Graber who hosted the Scramble for Ethiopia again this year. We appreciate your partnership and your heart for the children, Stan!

Rejoice 2021 - Save the Date!

Published Mon, Jun 28, 2021.



New Ethiopia Project Director

Published Mon, Mar 29, 2021.


Please join us in welcoming our new Project Director, Tsegahun Ayele, to Adams Thermal Foundation Ethiopia (ATFE).

In December of 2020, Tsegahun took over responsibility for the operations of Adams Thermal Academies in Hosanna and Ottoro. Prior to joining ATFE, Tsegahun held various positions with the EECMY School for the Deaf in Hosanna including Unit Leader, Deputy Director, Head of Education and Teacher Training. In addition, Tsegahun served on the Parent / Teacher Committee at Adams Thermal Academy Hosanna for several years prior to becoming Project Director.

Tsegahun is not only a life-long educator, but also a life-long learner having earned Diplomas in Geography, Theology and Special Education. He also earned Bachelor's degrees in Management Development and Special Needs Education as well as Master's Degrees in Leadership and Special Needs Education. Tsegahun is also fluent in six languages including English, sign language and several of the local tribal languages.

Tsegahun was born and raised in Durame, south of Hosanna in the Kembata Tembaro zone. His parents worked and lived with missionaries from the United States, Finland, Sweden and Germany. So Tsegahun was exposed to a variety of cultures early in life. He is married and has four children. Tsegahun enjoys volunteering his time with his local church, helping with the translation of sign language text books and serving as president of the regional paralympics committee for the Hadiya Zone, SNNPR.

According to Tsegahun, joining ATFE is a continuation of his life's work. "Almost all of my experiences are with that of charitable or ministry work," says Tsegahun. "In my personal and working life, I have not been focused on the salary I have been earning, but on the effect, or change in the life of the people whom I am serving," he added.

"We are so grateful to have an educator and trainer with local roots serving our school programs," said Samuel Getachew, Director of Africa Operations for Adams Thermal Foundation in the United States. "We believe that God's timing is perfect and that Tsegahun has joined us during an exciting new chapter in the history of our organization," stated Getachew.

Thank you, Tsegahun, for joining our mission to serve the "poorest of the poor" in Ethiopia!

Back to the Front Lines

Published Fri, Mar 12, 2021.

It's been exactly one year since our U.S. staff have been to Ethiopia. So it was encouraging to once again be with our staff and students in Hosanna and Ottoro this past February. Thank you to everyone who prayed for our health and safety. 
While new international travel restrictions added some complexity to our trip, there were no problems in meeting the new requirements. In addition, planes and airports were full of travelers resuming their personal and business trips. 
While visiting Ottoro, our staff was able to connect with the local elders and discuss current and future projects at Adams Thermal Academy Ottoro and in the community as well. In Hosanna, we had the opportunity to share details about our programs with representatives from the Hadiya Zone Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry for Women's Empowerment. 
While in the capital of Addis Ababa, we worked on team-building and equipping our management team. Several of our managers travelled from Hosanna and Ottoro to participate in these meetings. After our morning work sessions, we had the opportunity to visit a couple of the new national parks: Entoto Park on Entoto Mountain outside of Addis Ababa and Unity Park, located on the premises of the historical Grand Palace in Addis Ababa. We'll share more about these incredible new attractions in future social media posts. 
Another accomplishment from our trip in February was the creation of updated photos and video of our schools from the perspective of an aerial drone. This was the first time we've ever had access to a drone in Ethiopia, so we had the opportunity to collect images that were not only from a higher elevation, but also in high definition 4K quality. 
There are many more stories that we'll be sharing in the weeks to come. So keep watching our social media feed and share it with others. In addition, we're looking forward to once again hosting supporters and new visitors to Ethiopia in 2021!

Are You Celebrating Timkat This Week?

Published Fri, Jan 22, 2021.


It's one of the biggest and most important festivals on the Ethiopian calendar. Timkat or Timket, which is translated "baptism", is an Orthodox Christian occasion to mark the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. It is also known as the Ethiopian celebration of Epiphany which is recognized and celebrated by the Christian church worldwide. Since most of the population is Orthodox Christian, millions of Ethiopians celebrate the occasion of Timkat.

Timkat is on 19th of January and the full event lasts for 3 days. On the 18th of January, preparations begin for Timkat. On this day models of the Ark of the Covenant, called Tabots, are taken from churches and wrapped in cloth and silk.  The most senior priest from each church leads a procession to a river or bath, carrying the tabots on their heads.

The tabot symbolizes the tablets on which the 10 commandments were written and presented to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. The priests and some other participants keep vigil over the tabots during the night.

The main Timkat celebrations take place on the second day. Mass services begin in the early hours of the morning on January 19th, continuing until around 7 AM. Local participants wear white clothing and cover their heads with scarves. Following mass, speeches are given by important church figures and the water of the river or bath is blessed. Participants then submerge themselves in the water, renewing the vows they made at their baptism. This key part of the celebration is a reenactment of the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. After the reenactment, Ethiopians enjoy a special Timkat feast with their families which includes injera, doro wot (spicy chicken stew) and coffee. 

The third and final day of Timkat takes place on January 20th when the tabots, which had been carried to the water, are taken back to the churches in a similar procession.

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