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  • Writer's pictureAschalew Bezu

A Father to many

For the past eight years, I have been working and living as a "Village Director" at SELAM Children's Village 1 in Addis Ababa. Working at SELAM is not just a job for me, it is a calling, a wonderful opportunity to serve God. I was selected out of 40 applications after the job was advertised and I am very grateful. I receive so many signs of love and appreciation.


The vision of SELAM's founder Zahai Röschli, began almost 40 years ago. Her aim was to build a home and a future for children from the famine areas in the north of Ethiopia. One can say her vision corresponded to a divine plan. Zahai's presence is still an inspiration to us staff today and makes a difference. She instills confidence and stability in the children. She always has something to share with the children. She knows good advice and viable solutions. I like to compare Zahai to a bee queen. She spreads the good scent that drives the bees to work hard and produce good honey.

As a village leader, Aschalew Bezu always has a lot to do. Nevertheless, he always takes time to talk or play with the SELAM children.


My pastor asked me once why I did not come to church on Sunday. I answered him that I had to be with the children to give them confidence and comfort. Then the pastor said, "You serve God more than I do!" When I accompany our housemothers with their children to different churches for worship, the children proudly say to the other guests, "This is our father." To be able to be a father to many enriches my life very much.


Through SELAM I was given a big family, both in Ethiopia and in Europe. I appreciate the dedication and love of you friends in Switzerland and Europe very much, it is a great inspiration for us. Although most of you do not know us and the children personally, you have been supporting and accompanying us for years. I would like to thank you all very much for this. God bless you for it!

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