Theory of change

We act on the conviction that every child deserves the love of a family.

We believe it’s possible to end the global orphan crisis by implementing in-country, community integrated, holistic solutions focused on prevention and restoration of vulnerable children and families through intentional relationships with one child, one family at a time.

Selamta's approach

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Forever Family Program

Children are identified and referred by the Ethiopian Ministry of Women and Children to Selamta’s programs. Once a child or sibling group has been referred, they come into the care of our Selamta Children’s Center. Located within walking distance of our Selamta Community Center and nestled in the neighborhood of our Forever Family Homes, Selamta’s Children’s Center is the first stop on the way to a Forever Family. Children come to us from government orphanages or unsafe living situations. They are immediately embraced by a loving team of Selamta Moms, skilled social workers and professional support that helps each child settle into their new surroundings.

Our Selamta Team makes every effort to explore the options of parental reunification, biological kinship care and/or domestic adoption before a child or sibling group is permanently placed into a Selamta Forever Family. When it’s been determined that a Selamta Forever Family is the best option, our model is uniquely designed to give children the love and support they need:

  • HEALTHY FAMILY STRUCTURE - We unite 8-10 children with a Selamta-trained mother in their own home, integrated into their local community.

  • CHILDREN GROW UP TOGETHER - Children grow up as a family over a 10-20 year period before launching from Selamta’s care into independence.

  • SPIRITUAL, MENTAL & PHYSICAL GROWTH - Our professional staff serve each family with an emphasis on education, wellness, psychosocial support, and spiritual development.

  • RESTORING FAMILY, DIGNITY & HOPE - Growing up in a stable family, surrounded by the love of Christ gives children a strong sense of belonging and hope.

Check out this 20 minute documentary The Archibald Project produced about our Forever Family Program.

four cornerstones

Family is the foundation on which we build our lives. Every strong foundation requires cornerstones that bear weight. The four cornerstones of Selamta Family Project include:









Community - a network of support

Selamta's professional staff walks with each of our families in relationship, providing long-term support and guidance through our four cornerstones. Our Community Center is an environment where our families gather, dignity is realized, and hope for a brighter future is possible. 

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Selamta’s hope stretches beyond the walls of our buildings and into the local community shining a light and reaching at-risk families with the hope of Jesus in relational, tangible ways. 

Prevention is key to ensure every child knows the love of a family. Family strengthening and economic empowerment are critical for families to be lifted away from poverty and crisis.

Sarah Jane Langham Photography

Sarah Jane Langham Photography

Selamta’s Community Center is more than a gathering place for our Forever Families. It is a resource to families in our local community, a light on a hill. In the summer, local families take part in our English Summer Camp. 

Through our Outreach Program, families in need who live close to Selamta’s Community Center receive the same holistic resources that support our Forever Families. Our goal is to keep biological families together and help them thrive so fewer children become orphaned or abandoned.

Being neighbor with Selamta affects my child positively, especially after the summer camp we are more able to understand and willing to work with Selamta and to be involved with the work it is doing. Because we now understand.Ato Nigussie, Selamta Neighbor
— Ato Nigussie, Selamta Neighbor


 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16


Photos above, unless otherwise noted, are provided by The Archibald Project (@thearchibaldproject), an orphan care advocacy organization that uses media to share inspiring stories to inspire people into action. To see more of their work, please visit