About US

  ISOB (International Support of Education and Library in South Ethiopia) was founded legally in July 1997 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands as a nonprofit making organization for development work on education and health in South Ethiopia. The Foundation has been ended per 1 february 2020.  Read about our history.

 Stichting Internationale Steun aan Onderwijs en Bibliotheek in Zuid-Ethiopie (ISOB)
Office: Mauritsstraat 24, 1091 DA Amsterdam, Nederland
Email: info(at)isobfoundation.org

Vision and Mission

 Nelson Mandela quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

Download onze misscie en doelstellingen:  Stichting ISOB_Missie_Doelstellingen_Strategie-2017-2019.pdf

ISOB bestuur tot 2020

Anneke Sontrop, mede-oprichter en penningmeester, en Henk Gilis, secretaris

Anneke  Henk 

Vroegere bestuurders

Zelleke Ayde (overleden in sept 2012) mede oprichter en voorzitter, en Henriette Groot Antink, bestuurslid van 2010 tot 2014.

Zelleke  Henriette  

Vrijwilligers: In Ethiopie Ashenafi Kebede Ayde. In Nederland een wisselend aantal vrijwilligers.
Getachew W. Negate and Claudette Hesselmann werken voor het DEDA project, dat in 2014 is gestart in DEDA nabij Hidi town, Debre Zeit (Bishoftu) area. Na een goede start hebben zij Stichting Dessi Tuji opgericht en veel van ons werk overgenomen, bijv de boeken en schoolinrichting. Wilt u bijdragen aan Dessi?
Maak een donatie over aan Stichting Dessi Tuji.  zie hun website:  http://stichtingdessi.org  en Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/stichtingdessi


 Het gebied in Ethiopia waar we hebben bijgedragen:  SNNPRS, Wolaitta provincie, Wolaitta Sodo city.



Our start in 1997 – some history

ISOB Foundation (Stichting ISOB) was founded in July 1997 in Amsterdam by Zelleke Ayde, native Ethiopian, and Anneke Sontrop, a Dutch citizen. Zelleke Ayde was an employee at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam until he passed away in September 2012. Anneke Sontrop was employed by the University of Applied Science in Amsterdam until she retired at the end of 2014.

The idea for the Foundation came from an increasing demand for books and school materials by the local school management in southern Ethiopia. Chairman Zelleke had regular contact with the local school directors and had send books before on an individual base.

The ISOB founders started collecting study books, teaching aids and medical equipment among International Schools, Hospitals and individual sympathizers, mainly in the Netherlands. Book collections among the International Schools were very successful, also because a new technology, the internet, was advancing rapidly and became very popular. Libraries needed to make space for computers.

Between 1998 and 2014 the ISOB Foundation collected more than 42.000 books, and dispatched them to schools, school and University libraries and educational institutes in southern Ethiopia.
Among the receiving libraries was the ACTE (Awassa College for Teacher Education), Dilla Medical Library in Dilla town, Wolaita Public Library, Liqa School Library  and Wollaitta University in Sodo town, Boditti Library and many other School Libraries.

Besides collecting books we approached co-funders and individuals in the Netherlands with project proposals for capacity building in southern Ethiopia. The project proposals came from our partners in Ethiopia who also carried out the work. The projects were mainly focused on education, libraries and prevention of diseases. 


Partners and beneficiaries in Ethiopia

In 2006 the local NGO Wolaitta Development Association (WoDA) successfully constructed the first Public Library in Wollaita Soddo. ISOB provided 90% of the funds and all of the books.  Some years later the Public Library was handed over to the municipality.  The Library is very popular and used mostly by the local youth who prepare for their exams, read newspapers and books, discuss etc. We continue to assist this Library. See the project page Wolaitta Sodo Public Library

Wolaitta LIQA Public School, "a School for Talents", since 2007. This secondary school is successful in providing quality education for Orphan Vulnerable Children (OVC) who are talented and motivated to work hard for a better future. We support the Liqa School in their efforts to improve the school and the services among them boarding services. In 2010 we started sponsoring vulnerable students with a monthly allowance of 12 to 15 euros.  In 2019 our 20 sponsor students successfully finished the Liqa School and continue their education at different Universities. In 2019 we stop the Sponsorship program.

Wollaita Sodo University.  Between 2011-14 we carried out a Capacity Building Library Program in coordination with the Sodo University.

Offa Primary School in Offa village, built in 2007 by the local farmer community. Over the years we helped the school with a new Library, clean water and sanitation, the set up of an Innovation and Science Center, solar panels and cementing of new classroom floors. 

DEDA primary School in DEDA village near Debre Zeit. Between july 2014 and july 2017 we supported the DEDA Learning Centre project with the set up of a new Library, clean water, and solar energy. In 2018 the volunteers of this project will continue their work under the newly established DESSI foundation.



ISOB Foundation believes that education is the most vital part of sustainable development. Our Basic Ideas are as relevant as they were in 1997:

Set up and Improve Libraries

Promote a Reading Culture

Contribute to school Improvements and Education

Sponsor Talented Students whose talents would otherwise be lost!

We contribute to initiatives of local partners in South Ethiopia who aim to improve education and library services.


Download the "ISOB_Foundation_Mission_Aim_Strategy-2017-2019.pdf 

In het Nederlands:  Stichting ISOB_Missie_Doelstellingen_Strategie-2017-2019.pdf


 Nelson Mandela quote: 

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”