Selamta Family News - February 2018

Success of Q4

You guys blew our expectations out of the water! In September, we launched our first annual Selamta Family Dinner campaign. You exceeded our expectations coast to coast by crushing our $25,000 fundraising goal - $28,099 raised!

On average, our dinner hosts exceeded their individual fundraising goals by 30%. We want to give a shout out to the CauseMic Crew in Oregon who pledged to raise $1,500 but went for $2,500 instead. Mia, in Vermont, thought $500 was a reasonable goal but enjoyed dessert a little more when her dinner guests delivered almost $1200. And then there was Jo Hannah, who partnered with her friend and fellow adoptive parent, Judy, in Massachusetts, to host a dinner and beat their $1000 goal by over 130%!

Click photo to view report

Click photo to view report

THEN, after we published our 2017 annual report where we projected to end the year with a record $395K raised, you did it AGAIN by exceeding all expectations with our Let’s Change Forever Together Year-End Campaign.

We are humbled and thrilled to report that your 2017 donations were just over $408,000!

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Heart & Home

Every child, every family, fully sponsored in 2018 - that’s the goal!

So many of you are already Heart & Home sponsors of our kiddos and families and we could not be more thankful for you!

We love that Selamta is primarily supported by private individuals like you who make our work possible. You are literally changing lives and ending the orphan crisis - one child, one family, at a time.

Heart & Home Sponsor, Olympia, visits her sponsored outreach   family on a Vision Trip in December.

Heart & Home Sponsor, Olympia, visits her sponsored outreach family on a Vision Trip in December.

Our family from Curtis Lake Church returned for their annual visit to encourage their sponsor family and our team! 

Our family from Curtis Lake Church returned for their annual visit to encourage their sponsor family and our team! 

The need to expand our programming is urgent. There are too many kids who are still left to the streets and unsafe institutions. But first, we need to see that every child and family currently under our care is fully sponsored. We still need: 

31 Friend Sponsors

15 Mentor Sponsors

4 Family Sponsors

We can’t have too many Neighbors at $25/month.

Once every child, every family is fully sponsored, we can start to receive more kids and families who desperately need the restoration of family, dignity and hope.

And THIS is why Heart & Home Sponsorship matters. THIS Is the difference you are making, one child, one family at a time.


Belay and his younger sisters had a happy childhood, but tragedy struck his family. Belay’s mother got sick and passed away, driving their father to alcoholism, who died soon after.

Brought to Selamta by his uncle at the age of 12, Belay was scared. He had heard horror stories of kids sent to orphanages and was afraid of what his future would hold. He agreed to go only because he wouldn’t be separated from his two younger sisters. But Selamta is not an orphanage.

Belay rediscovered family through Selamta’s Forever Family Program.

Photo by The Archibald Project

Photo by The Archibald Project

Today, Belay is forever grateful. He grew up in a big loving family, earning his degree in Marketing and now watching his siblings follow in his footsteps. He recently launched into independence, running his own small transportation business, and has the financial stability to rent his own home.

Belay's housewarming party with Selamta staff in January 2018

Belay's housewarming party with Selamta staff in January 2018

Now grown and independent, Belay reflects, “I’ve learned the importance of education, learning from my failures and bettering myself from them. Selamta has helped me push myself so I can be the best me. If I never joined Selamta, I wouldn't have made anything of my life.”

Belay’s story is featured in our new Email Welcome Series. You can take a sneak peek at all 3 emails, sent to our new supporters over a two-week period:


Preparation for the Future - December Trip

In December, we were able to bring our US team and our Ethiopian team together around the table (literally, around a physical table!) for professional development and strategic planning going into 2018. That may seem like a no-brainer, but when you work between 2 continents and an ocean, in-person time together is a priceless opportunity!


Dr. Karen Hutcheson, The Center for Family Connections in Kentucky and author of the psychosocial sections of the book, In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence, volunteered to travel with us and provide professional development. She facilitated workshops for our team to embrace the unique strategies necessary to serve children from trauma and the effects of secondary trauma. Her expertise and willingness to connect with our team and families has been a tremendous blessing that we hope is just the beginning of what God has planned for us.


English Summer Camp


Let’s go to Ethiopia! Our 4th annual English Summer Camp is open for volunteer applications. 

This could be the summer that changes everything!

Gather & Give

Our families gather together at the Selamta Community Center everyday. Having a place to belong, feeling the love and support of friends and family, and accessing the resources available to help with whatever life throws your way makes a world of difference.

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This spring, we need your help to fully fund the Selamta Community Center in 2018.

$50,000 will cover all building and utility costs as well as specific programming that takes place in the community center like tutoring, health & wellness clinic, counseling, life skills training, computer lab internet access, spiritual development, and family gatherings & celebrations.

The online fundraising campaign kicks off March 1st and runs through the end of the month.

If you’d like to spice things up by providing a matching gift to double online donations, email

Shop Selamta

Spring is in the air! So we thought it was time to update our Shop Selamta selections with new handmade Ethiopian jewelry from our partner, Lila Products, and new t-shirt designs on the softest t’s we can find! Check it out and proudly display your family, dignity and hope!

Birthday Fundraising

Happy Birthday to YOU! Have you ever wanted to do something super cool for your birthday that goes beyond cake and candles?

Ben Beisswenger, Selamta Board Member, gave away his milestone birthday and raised almost $20,000 for our families! Mary Jean gave away her birthday to raise $1000 for the launch our our Micro Enterprise Development Fund. And Andrea raised $140 on her birthday just by asking friends on social. These guys crushed it and you can too!

Give away your birthday this year so we can celebrate even more birthdays at Selamta!

Making an online birthday fundraising page is easy and you’ll be amazed by how many people want to celebrate YOU by donating to something you love.

Ben celebrated his birthday with our families in Ethiopia! 

Ben celebrated his birthday with our families in Ethiopia! 

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