Letter: Support the Selamta Project
To the Editor:
With three children who have been to Ethiopia with the Selamta Family Project, I can testify to the fact that the program changes lives — not only the orphans that the program serves, but also the more than 100 students and community members from all over the Upper Valley who have gone there.
Volunteers raise their own funds to work tirelessly to create homes, paint, teach, create organic gardens and support the Ethiopian children in their newly formed families. Some have had the opportunity to bring children, who were living alone on gravestones or under billboards without food or shelter, into the warmth and love of their new Selamta families. Seeing these children come out of circumstances that are almost unimaginable to most of us and into a welcoming home with a warm bed, good food, medical care and education creates lasting memories and new perspectives. And the love that the children of Selamta give to those who have helped them is a true gift to all.
Carol Stone, founder and executive director of Selamta, has served as a mentor to all of the children in Ethiopia the program serves as well as those who go to Ethiopia. She listens to and nurtures all of the kids. The Ethiopian government uses her project as a model program for orphan care.
In an effort to raise awareness and funds for the “next step” for the Selamta kids that will assure their successful transition into adulthood, Stone is walking 129 miles (one for each Selamta child) over four weekends. I hope that as many people as possible will join to support her in her last 5 kilometers by participating in the “Walk for the Kids 5K” walkathon on Sunday, Oct. 13 (note the date, which is different from what the Valley News reported in its otherwise excellent article), from 2 to 4:30 p.m., starting on Alpha Delta fraternity’s lawn across from Dartmouth’s Alumni Gym. Coldwell Banker Redpath has contributed a $500 prize to the organization with the greatest contributions, and there are many valuable individual prizes as well.