Selam Children’s Village: Holistic Excellence For Empowerment

When Wzo. Tsehai Röschli extended her generous hands to children orphaned by the famine in mid 80s, she never expected to permanently change the lives of tens of thousands of people for the better and impacted even more. Selam Children’s Village, an establishment initially planned to shelter about 20 children, became home for hundreds, school for tens of thousands and support for hundreds of thousands in the community in its 30 years existence.

Selam Children’s Village (SCV) is a not-for-profit and non-governmental faith based organization operates with a vision to enable orphans and destitute community children to improve their lives and holistically develop as self-sufficient citizens by providing food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education and vocational trainings. SCV has also broaden its assistance to underprivileged community members living around its premises through educational, medical, social and economic assistance.

Ever since its establishment in 1986, 804 children have called SCV home, over 60,000 students havelearnt in Selam’s kindergarten, primary and high schools and hundreds of thousands of people benefited from SCV’s sustainable social and economic assistance.

Selam’s core values reflect that of its founder the founder’s Tsehai Röschli; Professional Ethics, Integrity, Accountability, Fairness, Justice and Transparency. Tsehai has instilled her core values not only in the organization, but also in the children she has raised. The children have grown up to be responsible, respectable citizens and passionate supporters of SCV to ensure its continuation and sustainability.

SCV has designed various programs to addresses development, education, health, social and economic issues such as the family model homes, technical and vocational training center and innovation center.

Family Model Homes

Selam Children’s Village (SCV) has a comprehensive family-like program that nurtures the children growing up in it and helps them become self-sufficient citizens called “Family Care Model and Community Based Support Program”. In this program, 10 to 12 children up to the age of 16 live and grow together in a house with a substitute mother and an aunt who looks after them. The mother and the aunt look after and take care of the children, and provide the children with physical, emotional and spiritual needs as biological mothers do. Once the children reach 16, they move to “youth homes”, where they live in girls-only and boys-only homes located in separate compound under the care of youth home leaders.  At the age of 18, the children move outside of the compound joining the outside world under the Semi-Independent Living Program. SCV provides their basic necessities through assigned social workers to follow up on them until they complete their vocational or academic trainings. Through this family model village child care and community support services, SCV provides to the children basic necessities, like nutritional care, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare and psychological support. 

Primary and Secondary Education

The first school of SCV opened its door in 1987 for children as well as the community around its present location. So far, over 60,000 students have gone through formal education in Selam’s one KG, two primary schools and one high school located in two campuses.

SCV schools have well equipped classrooms, ICT and science labs as well as sports facilities such as volleyball, basketball, handball and football fields. The students also take part in different clubs such as drama and literature in order to develop their talents and skills.

Selam David Röschli Technical & Vocational College

Established in 1989, SDR-TVC is dedicated to provide the highest standard technical and vocational trainings for both Selam’s children and private applicants. Currently, the collage trains in 11 disciplines including general metal fabrication and assembly, machining, automotive electricity and electronics, furniture making, building electrical installation, IT and food preparation. The college is equipped with modern wood workshop, conventional foundry, metal forging, heat treatment, sand blasting and powder coating facilities, library, computer lab and many more.

SDR-TVC gives some of the trainings in collaboration with different organizations and also provides short-term trainings. The college created cooperative training agreements with various NGOs, public and private companies to enable the students get 70% on-the-job trainings. Moreover, trainees in food preparation gain hands-on experience using Selam’s national and international restaurants.

Other departments of SDR-TVC are the Garment Making Center and the Urban Agriculture and Beautification Department.

In 2015, SDR-TVC was awarded by the African Union as one of the best 10 model Technical and Vocational Training centers and colleges in Africa.

The college has been selected to be one of the few assessment centers for certificate of occupational competency (COC) in Addis Ababa by COC Assessment Center. The COC achievement rate of the college has reached over 85%, which is one of the highest rates in the country.

With all the facility, equipments and professionals, SDR-TVC is now preparing to grow into Polly Technique Institute by hiring A-Level trainers to become trainers of senior trainers.

Community Support Program

SCV contributes significantly to the communities nearby its compounds through various support programs.

Neighborhood children who come from poor families receive scholarship, stationary, uniforms, sanitary kits for teenage girls and other support so that they fully focus on their education. Selam also feeds lunch to 450 children daily through school feeding program. SCV provides daycare support for poor families particularly headed by women so that they can go to work without stress and earn income.

Selam’s clinic serves over 32,000 community members in the neighborhood for a very minimal fee or even for free for those who can’t afford. Among the services the clinic gives are TB/HIV care and treatment, ultrasound and X-Ray examinations, laboratory, outpatient department, mother and child health care as well as dental health.

SCV closely supports sexually abused girls and women, provides shelter, medical and psychological treatment and fights for their rights as well as works with victims of gender based violence.

To improve living conditions of destitute and older people, SCV has created Women Handicraft Program. Selam provides material and space to produce different handicrafts, which are sold in locally and abroad. The financial and emotional supports give the elders with no families a chance to mingling and mix with their peers while working on handcrafts. It’s also therapeutic as it keeps them feel useful to the community. The program also gives start-up capital to entrepreneurs in the community.

Tsehay Röshli Industrial and Agricultural Engineering

TRIAE (Tsehay Röshli Industry and Agriculture) is an income generating wing of SCV that is engaged in manufacturing and technology transfer on industry and agriculture sectors. It’s established to ensure the sustainability of works undertaken by SCV as well as to ensure SDR-TVC trainees gain firsthand experience. TRIAE engages in production of appropriate technologies through research and development. It also intends to transfer intermediate and appropriate technology in construction, machineries and materials, furniture, renewable energy, agro-processing, transpiration and bee keeping equipment. 9 materials have been invented in TRIAE in 2015 alone.

Selam Children’s Village is a practical and result oriented institution that follows a holistic approach. It is an efficient and effective vehicle to reduce poverty in Ethiopia; its main focus is empowerment and sustainability. Its achievement accumulated through the years is evident through the success its students that have become successful entrepreneurs, leaders, top managers of successful businesses and role models. Selam’s children are influencing their communities positively and they are spreading the strong values their village afforded them.

Selam Children’s Village is a Center of Excellence. And behind it is Tsehay Röshli: AWiB WOE 2016 Titleholder.

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