3.22.2008

Selamta & the Human Capital Foundation

Ever get so fired up about something that you want to turn the world upside down?

That's how I'm feeling about the Human Capital Foundation - a group unknown to me until two days ago. Talk about a noble cause.

The Foundation is supported by the Human Capital Institute (HCI) - a for-profit company elevating strategic talent management on a global level. The Foundation takes HCI's contributions even further, addressing entrenched issues that typically work against developing workforces in emerging economies: AIDS and poverty to name a few.

While talking shop with HCI's team on Friday, founder Mike Foster shared the story of Selamta, one of the Human Capital Foundation's core programs. To hear Mike tell it is enchanting and galvanizing. My nuts and bolts version is this:

Selamta runs out of Ethiopia. Not unlike SOS Villages, Selamta repairs the family unit through community homes for orphaned children - in this case, mostly AIDS orphans. But it's not an orphanage - at Selamta the children have their own clothes, their own toys, and can fetch their own snacks from the fridge.

Selamta is helping approximately 50 kids across 6 different center. Each center is a home within an Ethiopian neighborhood. The centers exist in an effort to keep orphaned siblings together in their native country, rather than separating and redistributing them to new American homes. Selamta finds children and their siblings, and after the children have been stabilized emotionally, nutritionally and physically, they'll find themselves working on family values, becoming brothers and sisters to each other and paired with mothers. Mothers who were marginalized by AIDS, but through Selamta learn about health care, AIDS prevention, and how to be a mom. Eventually, Selamta will rent a house in the neighborhood for a Mother and about 7 of the children, creating their "life-long forever home."

School is paid for, too, and Selamta kids are #1 in their classes. University is sponsored if they score highly enough on exams.

Mike says, "We treat them as our children, not wards of the state."

Mike and his wife Carol are adoptive parents to 4 Ethiopian children. They are personally invested in Selamta's cause, with a passion that is as contagious as it is sincere. As someone who has for years wanted to one day adopt a child - with her sights set on Ethiopia - I am ripe for hearing and spreading Selamta's message.

If you are, too, then stay tuned - we'll be helping them out and you'll have a lot of opportunities to get involved.

In the meantime . . .

  • Consider donating through the Human Capital Foundation: http://www.humancapitalfoundation.org/hcf/hcf.home. $100 will cover a year of schooling fees (tuition, uniforms and books) for 25 children; $500 will provide a month's worth of food for 50 children in the Selamta centers.



By the way, Selamta means "be at peace" - something I hope you'll do this Happy Easter Sunday.

2 comments:

Jake Brewer said...

What a great post, Qui.

Never ceases to amaze me how much great work is being done out there by groups or organizations that I've not yet heard of. Particularly inspiring to see such an entrepreneurial approach that cuts to the root of a problem applied to such a common problem around the world.

The Human Capital Foundation has yet another fan/supporter because of your blog!

Qui said...

Thanks, Jake. Causes like this are so easy to love, no?