Bishangari is a beautiful place in Ethiopia where there are baboons, hippos, Colobus monkeys, and warthogs. The kids in Bishangari house like the idea of this refuge and decided to name their house after this peaceful place.
Mama Abiyot is a cheerful, enthusiastic woman, who clearly loves her Selamta family. When her son, Dagim, was two years old Abiyot’s husband died of kidney disease. In order to support Dagim, she worked as both a waitress and a factory worker. She worried about Dagim because she didn’t get to spend much time with him. Abiyot is happy to be at Selamta because she can be the present and dedicated mother she wants to be, not only for her biological son, but for all her Selamta kids.
Sentayhu and her younger siblings, Dawit and Senayit, were among the first children to join the Selamta Family in 2006. She has now graduated from high school, and is attending vocational school. She is a little reserved when you first meet her, but when you get to know her she opens up and is a joy to spend time with. Sentayhu enjoys going to church every week, and participating in the celebration of prominent religious holidays.
Seyfe is the oldest boy from Bishangari House and sets a positive example for his siblings. He has launched into independence in early 2016, after securing a reliable job. He is respectful, compassionate and always willing to lend a hand. Before coming to Selamta his eye was damaged and therefore has had difficulty in school. His dream is to be a shop-owner and he has gained experience apprenticing at a neighbor’s shop.
Meseret, “Messi” to her friends and family, is a kindhearted and warm young woman. She came to Selamta in 2006 with her younger sister, Lidet. She is easy to make friends with and accepting to anyone. She has turned her love of sewing and fashion into a summer job. She is now graduated from high school, and attending vocational school. Messi also enjoys hair braiding and spending time with her Selamta sisters.
Lidet is a very bright girl, and is an extraordinary kind person. She loves reading and is dedicated to her studies. She enjoys math, and hopes one day to be an accountant. Lidet takes advantage of Selamta's additional resources, and has attended STEM classes and critical thinking programs. Lidet is friendly and a pleasure to spend time with.
Esubalew and his younger brother Elias were among the first kids to arrive at Selamta. He has a robust laugh, likes playing board games and soccer with friends. Esubalew enjoys watching the British premier league soccer games on TV. Ask him about is favorite team and he will light up. He tends to be playful and likes to make people laugh.
Dawit tends to be a serious young man, but when he smiles, his whole face lights up. He had a difficult life before Selamta, living at a church with Sentayhu, begging for a blind woman. When he came to Selamta in 2006, he was so relieved to be reunited with his younger sister Senayit. He started playing more and made friends with other Selamta kids. He now loves playing soccer with his friends and on the Selamta team.
Elias is a creative, quiet boy who likes drawing and painting. He loves participating in extracurricular programs at Selamta. He has attended a circus program, where he learned how to juggle, do pyramids and other stunts. He is friendly and easy to get along with, and loves making jokes with his friends. Once he opens up, his antics will brighten anyone's day.
Senayet was the youngest Selamta child for many years, but since has become a big sister to many Selamta youth. She has a blast getting to know new volunteers.She is an energetic girl who loves to play sports. She has played volleyball and lacrosse with volunteers, and loves playing on the Selamta Girls' soccer team. Senayit has many friends both at Selamta and at school. In Amharic, Senayit means, “gift or blessing.”
Dagim is the youngest boy at Bishanagari and Mama Abiyot’s biological child. He loves playing with his siblings and friends. There are two other Selamta boys his age and they are inseparable. The laughs that come from the trio are explosive. Dagim is a beloved little brother and amuses everyone in his home with his outrageous character and whit.