Menelik House is named after Emperor Menelik II. He is most famous for defeating the Italian army at the Battle of Adwa in 1896, thus driving the Italians out of Ethiopia and maintaining Ethiopia’s independence.
Menelik was known as the “little kid house” for several years because it was the home with the most youngsters. The kids have grown up quite a bit since they became a family at Menelik house in 2007, but there is still a youthful, buoyant air to the home.
Mama Wude has a deep understanding of what the children at Selamta have gone through because of her personal experience being orphaned as a child. She was married and had a son, Eyob. When her husband passed away, she says her life was very dark. She now enjoys a good life with her kids at Selamta. In her free time she likes to go to church, listen to spiritual songs and read The Bible.
Betelham (Betti) is the oldest in Minilik House. She loves theater and acting. She also enjoys doing hair design and in previous summers she collaborated with her Selamta friend Nardos in running a small hair-braiding shop in the neighborhood. The two of them learned a lot from the business and had the opportunity to practice different styles. She has now graduated from high school and is attending University.
Yohannes is a smart, reflective young man and the oldest boy in Menelik house. He and his younger sisters, Tigist and Kalkidan, came to Selamta in 2006, and was joined by his two younger half siblings, Elshaday and Rediet in 2016. He is compassionate and thoughtful; a good role model for his siblings. He is now in University studying Engineering.
Eyob is a sharp boy who dedicates himself to studying and marks at the top of his class. He is reserved, but always thoughtful and kind, and loves to have fun. Eyob also likes playing cards with his family and listening to music.
Robel is the oldest of his biological brothers, Chernet and Temesgen. He is quiet and artistic. As the oldest, he often watched over his little brothers and, because of that, he is quite mature for his age. He likes playing soccer with friends and is a great artist.
Tigist is an empathetic young woman with a good sense of humor. Her English is stellar and she eloquently expresses her gratitude for being at Selamta and able to go to school. She likes acting, writing plays, and reading novels.
Chernet is creative and loves drawing and painting. He is also quite studious and does very well in school. He has participated in STEM classes through Selamta's extracurricular opportunities. Chernet is a calm, mellow boy who likes to play cards and sports with friends.
Kalkidan is full of life. Upon meeting her she may seem shy, but she is chatty and full of jokes with those she's close to. In her free time, Kalkidan likes making bracelets out of string and beaded rings. She loves dramas and watching after little kids.
Temesgen is soft-spoken and kind boy. When he smiles it take up his entire face. When he came to Selamta in 2006, he was sick from drinking unclean water and afraid of this new place. After a few days, he started feeling comfortable and felt safe enough to break out a little grin. He hasn't stopped smiling since. In Amharic, Temesgen means, "Thanks to God."
Elshaday and her sister, Rediet, joined Selamta in 2013 through our Outreach Program. However, when their mother's health took a turn for the worse, and passed, it was a natural transition for them to join their half siblings at Menelik House.
Rediet and her sister, Elshaday, joined Selamta in 2013 through our Outreach Program. However, when their mother's health took a turn for the worse, and passed, it was a natural transition for them to join their half siblings at Menelik House.