My name is Mehari. I live in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. When I was 5, I got sick and needed surgeries—and my family wasn't able to afford it.
My parents chose to send me to an orphanage where I would have access to medication to keep me alive.
I found that many kids were like me in the orphanage. They had families who were struggling and felt it would be a better life for them and the kids if they were separated.
While in the orphanage I had everything I needed—medication, good education.
But I didn’t have a family—which is more important than all of those things put together. I didn’t have any hope or dreams of the future.
It wasn’t possible to go back to my biological family, but Selamta helped me meet my new mum brother and sister, who I love completely.
My new family helped me through the hard times and encouraged me to what I dreamed about, become a filmmaker.
I went from having no dreams and no hope—to living my dreams.
My creativity is flowing, the future feels bright and I have a family whose there for me if I’m 22 or 72, I know they’re there for me forever.
I hope, like me, many other children can either be reunited with their families or find new healthy family.
Nothing compares with a loving family. It makes all the difference in the world.
Learn more about Selamta Family Project and how you can be a part of seeing families come together in Ethiopia.