In October 2000, a group of engineering students in Ethiopia who wanted to help the street children around their university—Bahir Dar University — established an organization called ReDefining Life or RDL-Ethiopia. These students provided stationery materials, school uniform and tutoring advice to nine kids once they enrolled them into the local public school. However, it was difficult for the kids to attend school regularly while living on the streets.

The following year RDL-Ethiopia asked and was granted a one-room government house for the kids. They further negotiated with the Bahir Dar University administration to provide those nine children with food three times a day after all the university students have been fed during the fiscal school year.

Furthermore, during the summer break when the nine kids were out of school and weren’t being provided food by the university, RDL-Ethiopia took measures to ensure that the children were kept fed and busy.

Among the original founders who scattered around the world, a few came to the US to establish what is now RDL-USA to collaborate with RDL-Ethiopia in the day to day work towards the realization of the RDL vision.