Ethiopia: Day One

Soon after arriving in Addis Ababa, the delegation met with the Embassy, USAID, and other high level officials involving key stakeholders in the Ethiopian orphan crisis.  CCAI will soon be releasing a full report outlining the goals, activities, and most importantly outcomes of this trip, but below are several highlights of the first days in Ethiopia.

The first morning we toured Buckner Bright Hope Ethiopia which provides services to children and families.  This organization has only been operating for several years, but has already begun transforming the community!  It was incredible to see the highest standards of care and nurturing that these children were receiving through the loving arms of Buckner Bright Hope’s staff.

Ambassador Susan Jacobs finds a loving friend who wants to snuggle during her visit to the Assessment Center.
Senator Landrieu comforts to a little child who is upset as he is about to settle into for a nap.
Jack Gerard, CCAI Board Member, with a young boy at Buckner’s Assessment Center.
Foster families from Buckner Bright Hope’s foster program

As a result of the heart-tugging and inspiring experiences of the day, we then returned to our hotel for a discussion with representatives from the Embassies of France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, as well as UNICEF Ethiopia.  The delegation then moved on to a round table prepared by UNICEF Ethiopia and USAID which brought together panelists from the full continuum of care for orphaned children in Ethiopia – ranging from institutional care, child protection, foster care, domestic adoption, and intercountry adoption.

All of these experiences and conversation are laying the foundation to promote relations between the U.S. and Ethiopia in an effort to protect orphans and vulnerable children and promote sound adoption practices.

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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

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