Our search for holistic orphan care in one of the oldest countries in Africa…
I didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived in Ethiopia. All of my senses were off. It wasn’t the Africa I was used to…
Instead of sweat pouring down my face as we stepped off the plane, I reached for my zipper and secured my hoodie: it was much colder than I expected.
We were greeted at the airport by an attractive Ethiopian man, who must have been around 24. He cheerfully helped us with our bags and beamed with pride for the organization for whom he worked. What we found was beautiful…
Selamta Family Project.
We walked through the gates of Selamta (pronounced: Sa-lam-ta) to find a white poster board taped to the concrete wall reading, “Welcome #Archibald Project.” We were welcomed by a peaceful staff of Ethiopians.
As everyone went around and shared their names (that I was convinced I wouldn’t remember in 5 minutes), I realized just how incredibly holistic and needed this place was.
Selamta is a holistic orphan care organization. They have around 100 orphaned and vulnerable children living in 12 homes, each with a full time mom and auntie.
And what struck us immediately was that each home is in an actual neighborhood. The homes where Selamta families live are not on a compound, walled off from the rest of the world. Each family lives amongst traditional families in neighborhoods where no one even knows the children were once orphaned!
As we got to know the staff, we interviewed them about what Selamta does for their children and families. They provide an education that is tailored to individual needs. This means that if one of their children learns differently than the school they are
zoned for, a driver will pick them up and take them to a different school every day…even if that school is across town…because Selamta believes that every child should receive the best education for their individual brain development!
Secondly, they provide psychosocial support for families! If a vulnerable family in the neighborhood, who doesn’t have to be a part of their 12 Forever Families, is in need of family counseling, or trauma and loss therapy, Selamta has trained professionals on hand to help walk these families through the care they need to stay together! Amazing, right?!
But the main reason we came to Ethiopia, the main reason we fell in love with the idea of partnering with Selamta is…
their forever family homes. Check back tomorrow to meet some of the most amazing children AND women. Each one will humble your heart and instill redeeming hope that the orphan crisis can be
With passion + thankfulness,
Nick + Whit
eliminated and show the possibility that all children could live in a safe and healthy home environment!