Caroline Kurtz grew up in Ethiopia, the child of Presbyterian Church missionaries. The family lived in the church’s most remote mission station in the mountainous regions of southwestern Ethiopia near the town of Maji. Beginning at the age of ten, Caroline attended boarding school in in Addis Ababa and then Alexandria, Egypt. Caroline left for college in the United States at eighteen, unprepared for U.S. culture. She eventually married a childhood sweetheart, also the child of American missionaries to Ethiopia, and the couple returned with their family to live and work in Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan.
She and her sister, the American children’s author Jane Kurtz, recently launched Ready Set Go Books for early Ethiopian readers. Ready Set Go has now printed and distributed 70,000 books in Ethiopia. When her husband died in 2013, Caroline bought, gutted and remodeled a house in Portland, Oregon. From there she returns regularly to Ethiopia, bringing solar power and economic development options to women in Maji. Learn more about Caroline and her work at developmaji.org