Founder & Executive Director Dana Roskey was a teacher for many years in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Inspired by the commitment of his fiancée, Leeza, to provide education to disadvantaged children in her native country of Ethiopia, Dana was moved to establish the Tesfa Foundation after her untimely passing. Since then, he has served as executive director of the Tesfa Foundation, spending the better part of the past ten years in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia Country Director
The Tesfa Foundation was founded in 2004 to commemorate the life of Leeza Woubshet.
Hope is a virtue that meant the world to her. Her greatest dream was to someday help the children of her native country of Ethiopia and guide them to real hope in their lives.
Leeza (Fregenet Woubshet), a 29-year-old American citizen of Ethiopian orgin, died in an auto accident in the summer of 2003. She had just completed her eduction in accounting, and was about to embark on the work she saw for herself ahead: the support of her family in Ethiopia and, in the longer term, the assistance of children of Ethiopia.
She wanted to found a school for disadvantaged children in Addis Ababa. After she died, a group of friends and family decided her dream wouldn’t die. From this emerged the Tesfa Foundation.
The first school opened with the Tesfa Foundation’s support was Tsegereda Memorial Kindergarten, opened in October 2004, in a very impoverished northern district of the city called Shiro Meda. The name of the school, Tsegereda, was suggested by Leeza’s mother. She said that Tsegereda, or Rose, was Leeza’s nickname when she was young. Today, the Tsegereda School is still going strong. Its first graduates are working their way through primary school, several of them routinely at the top of their class.
2004: The Tsegereda Schools opens, a kindergarten serving 60 underprivileged children in the Shiro Meda district of Addis Ababa.
2006: Schools 2 and 3 open in Mojo and Debre Zeit, towns near Addis Ababa.
2007: School 4 is built in a village outside of Bahir Dar in northern Ethiopia.
2007: Team Tesfa is founded.
2008: School 5 opened in the Mercato district of Addis Ababa.
2009: School 6 opened in the Mercato district of Addis Ababa.
2010: School 7 is built in the village of Ekodaga outside of Chancho.
2012: School 8 is built in the village of Kololo in the Kembata-Tembaro region.
2013: Schools 9 and 10 are built in the Kembata-Tembaro villages of Azedebo and Fundame.