Ras Dashen is the highest mountain in Ethiopia and part of the Simien Mountains in northern Ethiopia. It rises majestically to 14,928 feet.
Mama Tiruye grew up in the countryside of Ethiopia and married young. She says that her life there was not good, so she moved to Addis Ababa by herself and started work as a maid in private homes and carried stone at construction sites. She loves being a Selamta mom and wants her kids to have a bright future. She brought her son, Kindiye, to live with her at Selamta and she is grateful that he can get an education. Tiruye is a joyful, kind woman who often laughs and dances with her kids. One can tell by their interactions that the children love and respect her very much.
Mekides was Selamta’s first youth to go to University. She is studying Psychology at Gondar University in northern Ethiopia. She and her younger sister, Yeshi, came to Selamta in 2010. Mekides was the primary caregiver for her sister for several years after their mother’s death. The girls struggled to survive and stay in school. At Selamta, Mekides thrived in school and is an inspiration for all the Selamta youth.
Yordanos is a very outgoing and friendly girl. She loves dancing and in her free time can often be found teaching her friends and siblings different dance steps. Yordanos came to Selamta in 2007 with her younger siblings, Bamlak and Mariamawit. She is now launched into independence, and works in an office.
Kindiye is mama Turiye’s biological son. He lived in the country-side before joining his mom at Selamta. He worked on a farm and therefore wasn’t able to get an education. He joined Ras Dashen family in 2011 and was happy to start 1st grade. He is interested in trade school to learn more about farming and agriculture. Kindiye has a kind, shy nature and a big, warm smile. He is very happy to be surrounded by brothers and sisters.
Biyareglegn tends to be a pensive and thoughtful young man. He adores playing soccer and is a very good defensive player. He is tall and thin, and he has a lot of power when he kicks the ball. After receiving vocational training, Biyareglegn is now working at a garage, and is preparing to launch into independence.
Yeshi is a reserved and shy girl. She likes preparing coffee ceremonies and reading novels. She is very close to her older sister, Mekides, who was her guardian after the death of her mom. She is happy to be at Selamta and able to go to school. Yeshi is responsible and likes spending time with her younger siblings.
Tazeb is very serious about school and excels in his studies. He is a clever boy, who likes playing card games. Tazeb loves watching soccer on television and roots for Arsenal in the English Premier League. He and his older brother, Biyareglegn joined Selamta in 2008.
Bamlak is a confident little lady who loves dancing and theater. She is one of our best gymnasts at Selamta. Bamlak is really flexible and loves participating in the summer circus program. She can be serious about things she cares about, but she can also joke around. Bamlak likes practicing her English and is an eager student.
Mariamawit is a little sweetheart. One just wants to squeeze her she’s so cute! She likes drawing and doing crafts. She was one of the youngest kids at Selamta for some time and the older kids absolutely doted upon her. She likes school and her English is quite good. She likes learning new dances from her sisters, Bamlak and Yordanos.