Executive Director and Founder
Carol is passionate about her work on behalf of orphaned and abandoned children; she is also a strong advocate for gender equality and economic opportunity for women. She has combined these passions, creating the Selamta Family Project to address the needs of orphaned and abandoned children, and disenfranchised women, alike.
After 15 years of experience in international adoption services, in countries as diverse as Russia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Ethiopia, Carol believed that the response to the international orphan crisis must include multiple approaches; the need was too great to rely upon orphanages alone. At each institution or agency Carol visited, she paid particular attention to children left languishing. Children with disabilities, large sibling groups and teenagers often spent their entire lives in an institutional setting. Carol devoted her professional efforts to find placements for these children, and in doing so, envisioned a new care model to address a growing crisis.
Drawing upon her personal experience at home with ten happy kids (seven of whom were adopted internationally), Carol combined her degree in psychology and her professional insights to conceive a care model that has Family at its core. The Selamta Family Project embodies a unique care model that knits together small permanent families made up of individuals who form emotional attachments and bonds, and thrive as a loving unit with a confident and competent mother as head-of-household.
The Selamta Family Project in Ethiopia is the initial implementation of a unique care model. Carol continues to provide the vision and moral compass for the project, and her leadership skills reach far into the organization to inspire volunteers, staff, children and mothers, alike. Her dream is to replicate the Selamta Family Project’s care model in other parts of Ethiopia and in other developing countries where the need remains great.
Volunteer Coordinator and Sponsorship Manager
Mia is responsible for coordinating the Sponsorship and Ambassador Programs at the Human Capital Foundation. She also assists with fund raising activities and grant research, and social media outreach.Mia traveled with the Human Capital Foundation as a member of the organization’s first volunteer trip during the summer of 2004. During that trip, volunteers visited several orphanages in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and witnessed first-hand the orphan crisis in the country. After this experience, Mia felt compelled to do more for the children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. She decided to take a semester off college to spend 6 months as a Selamta Ambassador in Ethiopia.
During her time as a Selamta Ambassador, Mia took great pleasure in getting to know each child and quickly loved each one. Mia integrated her interest in childhood development into her experience by facilitating therapeutic art workshops with the Selamta children. In October of 2007, Mia returned to Selamta’s new Bethel neighborhood and got to see how the children are thriving in their small family homes. Mia is passionate about the Selamta Family Project because she has seen what a huge difference it has made in the lives of the children she met when she first visited Ethiopia.
Mia attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Psychology.