About Us

About Us

Elshadai Child Development Organization (ECDO) is a licensed non-profit organization supporting dozens of impoverished children in Ethiopia. Our mission is to free children from poverty and to empower them in the name of Jesus by supporting their physical, academic, and spiritual development. Each child has his or her own sponsor that they are able to communicate and build relationships with through letters and sometimes visits.

Many of the children who come to us lack adequate nutrition and access to health care. Thus, when they’re registered, we make sure that they have access to our daily feeding program and that treatable illnesses are addressed. After these basic physical needs are met, sponsored children also receive a quality education — a key component in freeing these children from poverty.

In Ethiopia, children whose parents cannot afford to send them to private schools often do not have opportunities to further their education after high school and are, therefore, trapped in generational poverty. However, with the education they receive through ECDO, these children will be equipped to pass national high school exams so that they can continue on to higher education. This will enable them to find jobs, allowing them to be self-sufficient.

We believe the greatest need of these children is the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. Therefore, we hold a weekly Bible teaching after school where sponsored children can come and learn about the Bible and, most importantly, about their Savior, Jesus Christ. They participate in Bible readings, story-telling, crafts, dramas, singing, and praying.

Our hope is that they come to understand their value and purpose from a biblical perspective. Through the implementation of relief and developmental efforts and the relationships built with supportive and compassionate sponsors, we have seen incredible improvements in each child’s physical health, academic success, and spiritual development.

Elshadai is also starting income-generating activities for families in the communities in which we serve.  Our goal is to enable parents and guardians to create their own small businesses so that they are able to provide for themselves and their families.

Lisa graduated from Colorado State University in 2008 with her master’s degrees in foreign language, literature & culture and English.  She is happily married to fellow Elshadai member, Atkeltsion Simon, and is the mother of one very active little boy.

Lisa Simon

Executive Director, Elshadai US

Adanech has been working for non-profits in Ethiopia since 1995.  In 2008, she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from New Generation University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  She is also the mother of three and the grandmother to two beautiful baby boys.

Adanech Janka

Executive Director, Elshadai ET

Atkelt has been working for nonprofits since 2006 and graduated from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia in 2008 with his bachelor’s degree in information systems. He completed his MBA in 2018 from Colorado State University’s Global, Social, Sustainable Enterprise program.  Atkelt is a husband to Elshadai Inc.’s Lisa Simon and father to son, Mezmur.

Atkelt Simon

Executive Director, Elshadai US

Wasie has been involved in social work since 2005, when he graduated from Alpha University College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with a bachelor’s degree in management.  He is also the father of two energetic boys.

Wasie Abdella

Executive Director, Elshadai ET