2016 Volunteer Recognition

2016 has been a tremendous year of growth and development for Selamta Family Project - which we celebrated in our 2016 Annual Report. Let us be clear though: none of our success would have been possible without our extraordinary team of volunteers.

We are convinced daily that we have the very best supporters imaginable. They share their time and talents to support us into success. While it takes many hands, this year we would like to establish our Annual Volunteer of the Year Recognition, and highlight two individuals who have served in extraordinary ways. They make Selamta better today than it was yesterday, and ensure Bright Futures for tomorrow.

We are thrilled to introduce our 2016 Volunteers of the Year! 


Maya Cameron Gilsey - US Volunteer, social media coordinator

Maya traveled to Selamta in 2014 on a two week service trip with her boyfriend Sam, and they have been sold-out for Selamta ever since. For 3 years running, she and Sam have fundraised for sponsorship, to invest in the lives of our youth.

18 months ago, Maya took the initiative to develop our Instagram account, and has built it from the ground up. We have grown to more than 3,700 followers, and it is a space where the heart of Selamta is evident and celebrated. 

If you haven’t yet, check out her work on Instagram @selamtaproject. You'll find a personal and inspiring reflection of Selamta, and Maya pours out love and care in her work, just as our families do so well.

Through Instagram, we’ve been able to effectively: 

  • Keep our current supporters involved
  • Spread awareness and meet new people
  • Begin new Heart & Home Sponsorships
  • Develop new organizational partnerships
  • Engage in the social media community

Trish Perkins - on-site Volunteer, Salesforce Expert

Trish came to Selamta through the Girlforce Project, a collaborative of women with IT experience who are trained Salesforce professionals. She first traveled to Selamta in February of 2016, where she got right to work developing streamlined systems and integrations for Selamta to use within our own Salesforce database. 

She returned to Ethiopia for four weeks in October and November, working alongside and training our Ethiopian staff. The internet connection in Ethiopia is inconsistent at best, oftentimes leaving websites like salesforce.com inaccessible. Trish utilized innovative solutions and equipped our local staff with work-arounds, so that our conditions do not determine our progress and we can continue to move forward as an organization with clear communication and data integrity.  


Maya and Trish, THANK YOU for the heart that you have poured out into Selamta this year.

If their stories of impact have inspired you to Take a Trip or Volunteer, contact us through the footer below.