About Fresh and Green

Discover More About Fresh and Green

Friends of Fresh and Green, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports a school for impoverished children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Local teacher Muday Mitiku founded Fresh and Green Academy to provide an education and nourishing food to the children in the Kotebe neighborhood of Addis Ababa.

The school is funded entirely by donations. With your help, the children receive three meals a day and the educational tools they need to move themselves out of the poverty into which they were born.

By empowering them to support themselves and their other children, Fresh and Green Academy is an oasis of learning and nourishment for the whole community.

Muday Mitiku's Story

Founder of Friends of Fresh and Green Academy


Muday-Mitiku-Founder-of-Friends-of-Fresh-and-Green-AcademyFriends of Fresh and Green Academy was inspired by the Fresh and Green Academy in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, a school founded 12 years ago by a local Ethiopian teacher, Muday Mitiku. Friends of Fresh and Green helps support the children of the academy with funds for food, education, and a safe environment so Muday can continue the school and its crucial work within the larger community.

Muday was born an only child in Kasanchis, Addis Ababa. She was enrolled in a private school from kindergarten and continued there until the sixth grade, after which she enrolled in government school; Garji. She has been a member of the Baha’i religion from the age of nine and started teaching children at the Baha’i center when she was fifteen.

Muday started her secondary education at Bole Medaham then joined a teachers college; B.G.K. in 1999 for a diploma in teaching and later pursued Business Management at City College.

Muday’s teaching and business training, as well as her experience teaching at the Baha’i center, motivated her to open her own learning institution. She started Fresh and Green as a “for profit” kindergarten in 2000 with a business partner. When she started to bring in kids off the streets, free of charge, the school lost money. Muday soon partnered with Friends of Fresh and Green Academy and, with hard work, dedication, and help from many generous donors, the school has since become a beacon of hope for the community.

Today, with help from many people, Fresh and Green Academy is providing 190 in-need children with education and nutrition. Along with the government required curriculum, the students enjoy classes in Art, Music, English, Computers, and Values and Morals. The children and their families are now drinking clean water as well.

Muday is a friend, wife, mother, and visionary. Her passion has become our passion and Muday’s dream has become our dream. Together we all can make a difference in the world.


The Academy

Learn More About The Fresh and Green Academy

The AcademyFresh and Green Academy was started by Muday (pronounced Moo-dye) Mitiku in the Yeka Kifle Ketema neighborhood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2000.

Originally it was founded as a for-profit school, but when Muday saw there were so many hungry children begging on the streets, she started to let them in to the school. The parents of the students who were paying tuition objected to their children going to school with the street children and pulled out.

Enter some intrepid flight attendants. On a life-changing volunteer trip to Fresh and Green Academy, they saw the school was in dire need of funds or it would fold. Trish Hack-Rubinstein, Amir Schutzer and Tim McNamee founded “Friends of Fresh and Green” as a not-for-profit corporation, whose sole mission is to keep the school going.

Today the school provides three meals a day, an education and basic medical care to 140 students, pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade. It also supports a Mother’s Cooperative that allows the mothers of the students to make crafts, thus empowering them and allowing them to feed their other children and themselves.

Board of Directors

Meet The Team Who Make Things Happen

Trish Hack-Rubinstein
Founder and President

Trish grew up in Las Vegas, NV and is now living with her husband in New York City. She has been a flight attendant for 25 years and has done numerous volu nteer projects from summer camps for troubled teens to soup kitchens.

On a life-changing trip to Fresh and Green Academy in 2008, the school was in transition and dangerously low on funding. Trish saw the need for her help and expertise. Upon her return to the United States, she helped found Friends of Fresh and Green, Inc. As President and co-founder, Trish travels to the Academy several times a year and is the cornerstone of the organization. Thanks to her efforts, the school and Mothers’ Cooperative continue to thrive.

“I have  been so very blessed with amazing family, friends, and experiences.  I feel it is my purpose in life to help where I can, and after being with the children of Fresh and Green Academy, I know it is my calling to do all I can to help them.”

Gregg D. Rubinstein
Executive Officer

Gregg Rubinstein, D.C.,  grew up in a suburb of New York City and received his bachelor of science degree from the State University of New York at Albany, and is now a chiropractor with a thriving practice in Manhattan.

Dr. Rubinstein spent much of his youth as a volunteer for United Synagogue Youth, and continues to donate his time and talents to helping various charitable causes in Manhattan. His business expertise and his philanthropic philosophy have been a boon to the organization.

He has visited the Academy and provided free chiropractic care to the students and their family members. “Trish’s enthusiasm for Fresh and Green is inspiring. I have been privileged to visit the school myself and am grateful to be a part of the organization.”

Lyuba Halkyn - Executive Officer

Lyuba Halkyn
Executive Officer

Lyuba Halkyn joined the board of Friends of Fresh and Green Academy after her first trip to Ethiopia to visit the school.  She has been a flight attendant for fifteen years and lives in New York City.

Lyuba graduated from Indiana University with her degree in Public and Environmental Affairs.  During college, she interned at the Workforce Development Services where she worked with at-risk teenagers helping them find summer jobs.

Lyuba is excited to get to know the children, their families, and the staff at Fresh and Green Academy.  She believes that building these relationships with the kids at the school makes her commitment to seeing the children into adulthood even stronger.

“My love for children and belief that education creates choice and builds hope, made Friends of Fresh and Green Academy a perfect fit for me.”

Sosina Mulugeta Gebreyesus - Executive Officer

Sosina Mulugeta Gebreyesus
Executive Officer

Sosina is originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia currently residing in Brooklyn, NY.  She has lived in the States for the past 24 years pursuing a career as an accountant, primarily in the Washington, D.C metropolitan area.

Despite living in the largest Ethiopian population outside of Ethiopia, Sosina’s sincere desire to give back to the children in Ethiopia went largely unfulfilled.  It was upon relocation to NY and exposure to Tadias Magazine’s feature on Friends of Fresh and Green Academy that she saw a promising ray of light. Sosina’s first meeting with Trish yielded an instant and lasting connection, forging a relationship of purpose and passion.

“On June 13th 2012 when I was asked to join the Board my dream came true.  Even though I haven’t yet met the children of FoFaGA and Muday (the Director) in spirit I am with them every day.   Together we will shape the lives of tomorrow’s leaders of Ethiopia.”