To create lasting solutions and foster transformation in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in Ethiopia, thus breaking the cycle of generational poverty.

Addis Jemari fights to end the orphan crisis in Ethiopia by encouraging, educating and empowering orphaned and vulnerable children and their families. Our five core values are: education, discipleship, financial literacy, life skills, and community involvement. These values will help transform the lives of children and families we serve. We strive to create sustainable solutions and share the love of God.

We value unconditional love, compassion, authenticity, transparency, fighting against injustice, meeting the needs of the poor, and dignity for all. In order to meet the needs of the children and families we serve, we instill our five core values in all of our programs and outreach.


During multiple mission trips to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, co-founders Cindy Douglass and Suzanne Ward met some amazing teenage girls who were barely making it from day-to-day. These girls had no family unit to speak of and had spent much of their lives in orphanages.

Through a journey of discovery, Cindy and Suzanne learned that there are millions of children and families fighting every day to survive, constantly beaten down by life and its hardships.

According to UNICEF, there are 4.5 million orphans in Ethiopia. The leading causes of orphaned children are HIV AIDS, untreated illnesses, famine, drought and war. In Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa alone, more than 30 percent of teenage girls are not living with a parent. These girls are vulnerable to exploitation or abuse, and typically have no legal or societal support.

Cindy and Suzanne began to dream. They cried out to God and said, “This can’t be okay. What can we do to give these girls, these people, these families, a new start in their lives?” They wanted to provide new beginnings for these girls and these families. That’s how Addis Jemari (Amharic for “New Beginnings”) came to be.

After much prayer, Addis Jemari, (a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization) was founded on May 11, 2016. Cindy and Suzanne developed a multi-faceted program to help these orphaned and vulnerable children. It is their belief that, by engaging local leaders and entities, and by creating an environment of love, support and discipleship, these children and their families can be educated, discipled, learn life skills, and be taught self-worth.

Bible Verse
Addis Jemari’s guiding Bible verse is: “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

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