Children’s Heaven is a local humanitarian and Non-Government Organization (NGO) established in 2004 to support the development and well-being of single- and double-orphaned children as a result of HIV/AIDS through a community-based care program. Children’s Heaven is a comprehensive day program providing loving support for orphans who have been profoundly affected by Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Children’s Heaven ensures that children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS maintain food, clothing and shelter, stay in school, and learn skills necessary for healthy adulthood. Most importantly, Children’s Heaven provides orphans with safety, unconditional love and community. Children’s Heaven’s mission is to empower orphans to become self-reliant and self-sufficient, living healthy and productive lives, thereby elevating the wellbeing of Ethiopia’s next generation. In addition the program supports AIDS Widows living with HIV/AIDS. This project aims to offset the economic impact of HIV/AIDS on families through encouraging widows to engage in income generating activities so as to improve the economic well being of low income HIV/AIDS affected families. This will be achieved by providing business training to widows and give them loans to start small businesses. Children’s Heaven has grown from serving 5 girls in 2004 to over 80 girls in 2012 with the plan of increasing numbers to a 100 by the year 2013. By the end of 2015, our goal is to serve 100 orphans.
Children’s Heaven seeks to see the quality of life of defenseless children and youth improved.
Children’s Heaven’s mission is to empower orphans to become self-reliant and self-sufficient, living healthy and productive lives, thereby elevating the well being of Ethiopia’s next generation.
Children’s Heaven is responsible to all our stakeholder for the way we make decisions and the result of our actions and we are directed by the following principles: As an organization and as individuals, we act ethically. We treat all people with respect. We are open and transparent about the work we do and how we do it. Our stakeholders participate in the design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of our work. We are effective stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us. We commit to achieving demonstrable impact for our stakeholders, using their feedback to innovate, learn and improve. Our stake holders include orphans, communities, sponsors, donors, partners, concerned government offices, Children’s Heaven team members and Children’s Heaven board members.
Children’s Heaven US Board of Directors
- Hanna Fanta, Executive Director
- Forest Crawford, Chairman
- Laurie Lazar, Vice Chairman
- Daniel Igomdu, Accountant
- Selamawit Alemu, Secretary
- Betsy-Jo Mehltretter, Board Member
- Heidi Mehltretter, Board Member
Children’s Heaven’s founder, Hanna Fanta, spent much of her growing up years in Kolfe Kiranio Sub City, Addis Ababa City in Ethiopia. While Hanna lived in the USA from 1989 to 2004, she worked for the United Nations in New York. She returned to Ethiopia and to do an assessment of the situation of orphans in Addis Ababa because she felt a calling to support vulnerable children. The outcome of the assessment was that orphan girl’s bare excessive burden due to their natural vulnerability and gender discrimination. In July 2004, in response to the rising number of orphaned and vulnerable children living in Ethiopia, Hanna, opened the doors of Children’s Heaven—dedicating its operation to the goal of improving the lives of orphaned girls who had lost one or both parents to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Too often these girls experience discrimination and exclusion from the community as a result of the prevailing stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. In the program of Children’s Heaven, orphans are given a safe environment where they can receive love, security, guidance and provision of basic needs along with the necessary skills and knowledge necessary to develop into successful adults. Children’s Heaven project is committed at providing love and care to orphans and vulnerable children who do not have one or both parents or guardians to look after them. At present, Children’s Heaven serve 84 orphan girls in a holistic service and house six girls in Children’s Heaven rented shelter. The number of orphans in the waiting list is increasing everyday due to the desperate situation of the rising number of needy orphans. At the moment there are more than 200 orphans on the waiting list waiting patiently to be admitted to Children’s Heaven program. Our sponsors and donors are an important part of the Children’s Heaven family. It is through their support that we are able to continue our mission and fulfill our vision—making once far off dreams become a reality for many of our girls at Children’s Heaven. With their continued help, we hope to, one day, see all of our girls lead healthy and productive adult lives.
Vision for change
In the upcoming months, Children’s Heaven is looking to secure permanent housing for our Children’s Heaven family. Currently, we are seeking donations to help us purchase a permanent home for our Children’s Heaven family.About Us