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Children's homes

SELAM has two "children's villages", which are located at different sites in Addis Ababa. Both villages have close ties to the neighbouring districts. By engaging in various activities, the children frequently come into contact with the people in their neighbourhood. 


Family model

SELAM adopts the approach of a family model in caring for and supporting orphaned children. This gives the children the opportunity to grow up in a child-friendly environment with lots of siblings. 


The villages have 16 family homes, each providing a home to 10 to 12 children of different ages and genders. Each house has responsible and qualified matrons who look after the children and raise them as if they were their own. The matrons are supported in their work by so-called aunties. From the age of 15, boys and girls live in single-sex houses in so-called teenager families.

Some of our children have been through traumatic experiences before coming to SELAM. This is why there are social workers at SELAM who take such children under their wing. The social workers receive additional training in overcoming trauma.


There are currently 160 children living in the SELAM children's villages (correct as of 2020).

Semi-independent Living

At the age of 18, the young people leave the children's village and move into external SELAM residential communities. This is referred to as semi-independent living. They receive a monthly contribution toward their rent, food, transport costs and other expenditures. They also receive twice-yearly contributions towards clothing. In this way, they learn to live independently. 


SELAM supports these young adults to the end of their traineeship or studies, and for an additional six months thereafter. This support takes the form of funding as well as supervision from SELAM social workers, thus giving the young adults time to find their feet in the world of work. 


There are currently 145 young people in total taking part in the SIL programme (correct as of 2020).

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