The Foundation

A child with special needs will inspire you to be a special person.​

Established in 2019, the Deborah Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Ethiopian youth with Intellectual disabilities through support in the areas of education, health, and policy advocacy.

When the fourth daughter of his Excellency Abadulla Gemeda and W/ro Rahel Welde Deborah was born with Down syndrome in 2008, the family experienced many unforeseen challenges following the diagnosis.

Comprehensive care and education for disabled children was rare to find in Ethiopia. The lack of local expertise for treating and caring for children with Down syndrome was a major obstacle in the first years of Deborah’s life and continues to be so.

Today, Deborah enjoys a healthy life alongside her siblings – thanks to well-mobilized support and the faith and love of family and friends. However, many families in Ethiopia are less fortunate and struggle to provide their children diagnosed with physical and mental disabilities with the best care possible.

The foundation was created with a vision for Ethiopia by Deborah’s family: Deborah Foundation strives to make the Ethiopian health, education, and policy infrastructure more inclusive for Ethiopian youth with mental disabilities.
We are grateful for your time and support to Deborah foundation!

Our Mission

Deborah Foundation is committed in finding ways to improve the quality of life for individuals with Down Syndrome by promoting the right to live with health and dignity as valued and full citizens with in the society.

It actions to empower families through dissemination of information in the fields of early intervention, education, medicine and equal opportunity employment.

Our Vision

Educate society, government organizations, and change the system so that every person with Down Syndrome in Ethiopia:

• is protected against discrimination

• has access to medical care

• has access to educational programs

• is a valued member of society

• has the opportunity to have a job and live independently

• is able to reach their full potential and contribute within the society.


Our values express what we stand for and guide the way we engage with individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.

DIGNITY: Remain true to our mission and be honest, open, ethical, and fair.

EMPATHY: Compassion, patience and kindness in our interactions.

BOLD: Courageous in advocating for Down Syndrome rights.

OPPORTUNITY: Committed in creating opportunity.

RESOURCE: Resource for better health and education systems.

ACTION: Action to empower families and individuals with Down Syndrome.

HANDS-ON: Focusing on the community to bring about hands-on change for individuals with Down Syndrome.


Hon. Ato Abadulla Gemeda

Founder and board chairperson

Experience: Military General, Minister of Defense, president of regional state of Oromia, speaker of Ethiopian parliament.

Responsibility: fund raising, policy initiation, providing general direction on major issues and strategical leader.


Beki Abadula Chief Operation Officer
Dr. Hewan Mulugeta Chief Operating Officer
Feven Abebaw Director of Finance
Lensa Moges General Manager /IGA/
Gelane Abera Program Coordinator
Nibret Bezuayehu Chef & Cafeteria Manager
Afomia Admasu Finance Manager/IGA/
Melat Girma Director of Human Resource and capital
Dr Yohannes Gizaw Fundraising Expert


Governmental and non-governmental organizations that work closely with us.

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