In January 2011, Anja Wood and Carrie Neel-Parker met in Ethiopia. They had both traveled to the country’s capital, Addis Ababa, in the process of adopting their daughters.
While waiting for their daughters adoption paperwork to finalize, Carrie and Anja rented an apartment in Addis Ababa and took custody of their children. They formed a deep bond through their desire to create both orphan prevention programs and improve orphanage safety and education in Ethiopia.
Shortly thereafter, they teamed up with Wubit Ashenafi, an Ethiopian financial professional, who left her job to dedicate her life to creating successful orphan prevention programs in her home country.
They put together a board of directors and formed the Lelt Foundation.
Today, the programs that Anja, Wubit and Carrie created empower impoverished families to stay intact, and find sustainable employment and educational opportunities in peri-urban neighborhoods in central Ethiopia. Lelt Foundation also continues to help marginalized children living in state-run orphanages with improved safety conditions, advanced education, and access to enrichment classes.