“There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
- Nelson Mandela
 
 
An aerie is the nest of a large bird, like an eagle or a hawk; it is often perched high in a tree or on a cliff's edge. It is a safe haven in the midst of what can be an adverse environment. Aerie Africa is a US-based non-profit organization committed to providing a nurturing home for children in southern Ethiopia who would otherwise lack such a safe haven.

Aerie Africa, founded in 2002, is a US-based non profit organization, dedicated to providing a home for orphaned children in Wolaita Soddo, Ethiopia.  Wolaita is one of many "zones" within the southern region of Ethiopia, located about 200 miles south of the capital, Addis Ababa. Through sponsorship and other fund-raising activities, Aerie Africa provides the funds necessary to operate a program that provides caring support for 72 children and young adults. From its founding, Aerie Africa has partnered with and helped to foster Children's Cross Connection (CCC), an Ethiopian charity, registered with the Ethiopian government to provide direct service in OVC-related care (Orphans and Vulnerable Children). While Aerie Africa provides funds, oversight, and visionary guidance, CCC is the implementing partner for the project on the ground.

The Aerie Africa / CCC project involves three main components.  The central component of the project is the CCC Children's Home, an orphanage that currently houses 54 children from ages 3-18.  It is a long-term care facility situated on about 4 acres of land on the edge of Soddo town.  All but a few of the youngest kids attend local schools within easy walking distance.  The second component is a transitional program for young adults who have grown up at the CCC Children's Home.  For three years, from ages 18-21, these young adults recieve full support, but live in rented rooms in town.  It's a period to help them develop some independent life skills and integrate into the community. The final component involves higher education support for kids who have grown up at the home and qualify for degree and diploma programs around the country.

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