students served

teachers trained

total community members engaged

Luminos in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the Luminos Fund’s largest and longest-running program. In partnership with the government of Ethiopia and community-based organizations, Luminos is implementing an accelerated education program, successfully reaching more than 238,308 out-of-school children.

Meet Tibebu, a Luminos student in Ethiopia:

Ethiopia at a Glance

While Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education has made significant investments and developed new policies to support out-of-school children, it is estimated that more than 5.1 million primary-school-aged children are still out of school in the country.

The impacts of conflict and climate change are significant barriers to accessing quality education, with more than an estimated 5.5 million internally displaced persons. Poverty has decreased overall, however, for the most vulnerable families, little has changed in the past decade.

Map showing the country of Liberia, located in West Africa.

What We Do in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, Luminos is reaching thousands of out-of-school children each year through our accelerated education program. In just one school year, we support children to achieve foundational reading, writing, and math skills with transformational results.

To address the out-of-school challenge at scale, Luminos is building capacity within the national, regional, and local education bureaus to adopt and deliver our program. In 2023-24, the government is reaching over 40,000 children through the adoption of our program model.

Through both direct delivery and government adoption of the program, Luminos is scaling to reach new geographies and populations. In the Konso zone of SNNPR, for example, we are testing and scaling a new pilot that is serving internally displaced children, which includes a school meal component.

We have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education, representing our joint commitment to ensuring all children can catch up to grade level, reintegrate into government schools, and prepare for lifelong learning.

I have been able to see closely how the lessons are given and how the teachers are committed. The follow up by teachers is quite amazing. They do much better than the regular teachers. Even highly paid teachers do not show this level of commitment and output. The classrooms are lively and have a lot of learning resources. I am now a champion of the program.

Mesfin Yacob
Sodo Zuria Woreda School Improvement and Supervision Directorate Team Leader (Ethiopian government, district-level official)

The 2023-2024 School Year



regional states and cities

community partners

These numbers include both Luminos direct delivery classrooms and government adoption classrooms.

Reports & Evaluations

2018 Longitudinal Study (Summary)

(University of Sussex)

Learning Loss, Trauma, and Resilience in Tigray Report (Summary)

(Institute for Education, Health, and Development at Addis Ababa University)

2020 Report Synthesis (Out-of-School Children in Ethiopia)

(Ministry of Education, Ethiopia)

All Work, All Play

(Childhood Education: Innovations)

2016 Ethiopia Pedagogical Review

(University of Sussex)

“I’ve evaluated the Luminos Fund’s programs in Ethiopia over a number of years and want to emphasize their impact educating out-of-school children as well as the great promise of the Ethiopian government to adopt the Luminos model in its own classrooms. Especially given Ethiopia’s focus on accelerated education through the COVID-19 pandemic and eventual recovery, Luminos’s programs and this type of NGO-government collaboration can serve as a model for resilient, transformative education during and after crises.”

Dr. Kwame Akyeampong
Professor of International Education & Development at The Open University and Luminos Board of Directors

90% of Luminos students transition to government school upon completing the program


Luminos students outperform their peers in English and Math by an average of 10%

  • Luminos students 45% 45%
  • Government students 36% 36%

Luminos students are happier and more confident than their peers

Meet our Ethiopia Team

“Every morning I wake up with full energy knowing that what I am doing is not a mere job, but devotion to equip children with knowledge and skills that will lead them to a better life.”

Dr. Alemayehu Hailu Gebre, Ethiopia Country Director and Regional Strategic Advisor

Our Community Partners

Frontline community-based organizations (CBOs) are fundamental to Luminos’ model. These CBOs help select the communities we work in based on local needs, lead community engagement and delivery of the Luminos program, and monitor the program on an ongoing basis. In Ethiopia, Luminos works with the Ministry of Education and the following CBOs to co-create and deliver our country-specific programs:

African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)

Close-up of Luminos Liberia student writing

Hope for Children in Ethiopia Relief and Development Association (HCF-RD)

Ratson: Women, Youth, and Children Development Program (RATSON)

Emmanuel Development Association (EDA)

Integrated Service on Health and Development Organization (ISHDO)

Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL Ethiopia)

Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus- Development & Social Service Commission – South Area Work (EECMY-DASSC)

Operation Rescue Ethiopia (ORE)

Tigray Development Association (TDA)

Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus – North Area Work (EECMY-NAW)

Positive Action for Development (PAD)

Wolaita Development Association (WoDA)

“Partnering with the Luminos Fund has allowed us to develop our creativity, attention to detail, and ability to set priorities. It’s truly inspiring to witness the transformation of the vulnerable rural children we work with, as they become more confident and outspoken. The innovative and creative techniques employed by Luminos have also contributed to a positive shift in the working culture of school communities. We continue to learn from the program, and it is making a significant impact in the education sector.”

Woinshet Mengesha
South and Central Branch Office Manager, EECMY-DASSC

Latest news & stories from Ethiopia

The Power of Writing

The Power of Writing

As Tizta’s fingers curl around a pencil, her words come to life through poetry, showcasing the writing skills that she developed as a recent graduate of the Luminos Fund program in Ethiopia. One of eight children, Tizta moved from her rural community to live with her...

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