Love is in the air! This spring, a wonderful young man asked for our amazing Messi's hand in marriage. Now, in Ethiopia, the traditional way of doing this is a process. Messi's would-be fiance sent a group of elders (uncles, friends, people who can vouch for his character) to her home to petition on his behalf. Messi's elders (Mom, Selamta team, friends and family) heard their request and said they would consider it but they had to come back in two weeks. Two weeks passed and his elders returned. Messi's elders invited them in but they did not sit down. If they received bad news, they would then leave the home. But if the news was positive, there would be a party.
Well, PARTY TIME!
We are thrilled to share that our very own Messi, who has been a part of the Selamta Family since 2008, has extended our family and is happily married to a great guy! We pray many blessings over their family and their future!
Every Saturday night, the Selamta Community Center is filled with food, laughter and deep conversations. The boys and girls trade off every other Saturday to have special movie nights. Our nurse, Tigist, leads the girls and our Assistant Ethiopian Director, Habtie, leads the boys. We have additional volunteer support from our accountant, Yodit and US Embassy volunteer, Chris.
They start the night by cooking together and sharing a meal. Sometimes it's pizza or injera with shiro but no movie night would be complete without Ethiopian-style popcorn! These nights are special because of the way relationships form and conversations become meaningful. We use the movies as a starting point to talk about real life situations and how the character we develop in own lives can guide our decisions in life. Spiritual and life skills development are important to our families and their futures. Of course, a killer dance party and all-night giggles are pretty important for teen development too!
STF partner conference
The Selamta Team in Ethiopia is exceptional. And we get to work with some pretty exceptional partners as well. One of our key partners in girl's education is She's the First. Each year they host a partner conference in Africa.
Habtie, Assistant Ethiopian Director, and Selam, Outreach Social Worker, traveled to Kenya to be a part of the conference. They were able to share the stories of our girls and families with other like-minded organizations and learned a ton from everyone else's best practices.
ESC prep and volunteers
National Exams just finished in Ethiopia so that means...It's SUMMER! And with summer comes Selamta's English Summer Camp!
We are over the moon excited for camp this year. Our friends at McLean Bible Church in Washington, DC are developing our camp curriculum and it's amazing! We have families that adopted children from Ethiopia coming over to serve together. We have college students, young professionals and just all around incredible humans joining us for 2, 4 or 6 weeks this summer. There are just a few volunteer spaces left so if you've been thinking about, now is the time to apply.
Last fall, Yezena was offered the most incredible opportunity. She was given a 4 year scholarship to complete her high school education at Brewster Academy in Wolfboro, NH. We are THRILLED to share that not only is Yezena doing well, making friends, and adjusting to her new community, SHE IS CRUSHING IT! Yezena earned summa cum laude honors through her freshman year and won the prestigious ESL Keystone Award for outstanding academics, integrity, and service . Yezena was given this educational opportunity not just because she's smart, but she's a leader and a role model as well. She has always lifted up the people around her. She constantly encourages her Selamta brothers and sisters back in Ethiopia. She believes in their abilities. She challenges them and celebrates their success via social media. And Yezena is able to do all of these things because she is also encouraged and supported by her extended Selamta Family. Matt Donovan & Anne Merra take Selamta Family Sponsorship to a whole new level by being Yezena's home away from home. They are a brilliant example of what family is and how to love without ceasing. And Yezena's Mentor Sponsors, Brian and Esther Samia live within an hour of the Donovan's and Yezena's school. She is surrounded by loving, caring people who believe in her. Every child needs a community of support. Let's live by their example!
Every child. Every family.
Every child deserves to grow up in a loving, stable family. Our Heart & Home Sponsors make that possible at Selamta. From Mother's Day to Father's Day, we are asking for your help to see that every child and every family who is a part of Selamta is fully sponsored. If you're not a sponsor yet, check it out! If you are a sponsor, will you encourage 3 people to join you in changing someone's forever? It only works when we're in it together!
Indiana Happy Hour
We are constantly blown away by the kindness and enthusiasm of our Selamta Family of supporters. Cindy Mosca, artist and former Peace Corp volunteer, recently hosted a wonderful happy hour event in Indiana to support our families. Part of her fundraiser included her very own art inspired by her time in Ethiopia. She's incredible! Thank you Cindy!
In April, we were given a pretty amazing gift by two friends in Austin, TX - Charlotte Herzele and Sheridan Lorenz. They gave us $5000 to support our families and challenged us to get it matched. We are about halfway there so far. If you would like be a part of fulfilling this challenge, click the button below and your gift will be doubled!
Selamta Family Dinners
There's nothing better than great food, friends and family. This September, we will be launching our favorite time of year, Selamta Family Dinners. Have your people over, eat all the yummy things, and share why you choose to support Selamta. Last year, you guys raised almost $30,000 by breaking bread. If you live in Florida or will be in our neck of the woods on September 13th, SAVE THE DATE NOW! More info coming soon!