Monday, May 11, 2009

Welcome to the AAI Blog!

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to our new AAI blog! We envision this as a space where we can post information about what's happening with all of our programs and projects. We know people love to read about current events at Layla House and Eban House as well as our humanitarian programs and we'd like to be able to share more than there is ever room for in our monthly newsletter. We're hoping that many AAI staff and volunteers will contribute to the blog on a regular basis so that our supporters who have expressed the desire for more "inside" information will now have it.

The latest big news is that we've rented a compound across the street from Layla House. This great new space will house our Opportunity House program for special needs kids and provide extra space for all of the children at Layla House (OH) to use regularly. The program serves both children available for adoption and children in the neighborhood who come for daycare because there are few options for these children in Ethiopia. At Opportunity House, there is an educational program that seeks to maximize the potential of each child and to provide them with a stimulating, nurturing environment. In Ethiopia the parents of such children often feel stigmatized and are not yet aware that many special needs children can lead productive, fulfilling lives. Many of the children have made incredible progress during their time at OH---starting to speak, walk, perform basic self-care tasks and the parents of the daycare children are so happy to have this service.

The new compound has wonderful outdoor space and will also have additional classrooms. Currently plans are being made for the Layla Kindergartners (KG) to have both classes and playtime there. Older children will also cross the street for craft classes and to interact with the Opportunity House children. We view this new property as a great addition to Layla House that will enable all the children to have a more varied, stimulating educational program.

The proceeds from the 2009 Layla House Quilt Raffle will be used to purchase playground equipment and educationals supplies for the OH property. Above is a picture of the beautiful quilt made by Layla House children and our wonderful friend and volunteer Barbara Patton. Please contact Johanna Sculley in the AAI office at if you'd like to sell tickets. The tickets are $5 apiece and come in books of 10. Johanna will mail you as many books of tickets that you can sell as well as a photo of the quilt to show. We've found in the past that the tickets practically sell themselves when people hear what the proceeds will go towards. The drawing will be held at our Warm Beach Gathering on Saturday, August 1, 2009.
We hope you enjoy this blog and please comment about anything in particular you'd like us to post about.


  1. I am so happy to find this blog! It's great to have the information!

  2. As an AAI family that has adopted from Ghana and Ethiopia, I love the idea of this blog! It's great to hear news from both countries without needing to sift through hundreds of emails about wait time to referral or upcoming court dates from two different groups, and I feel much more "connected" to the agency and it's mission.

    Wonderful, wonderful idea. Thanks so much.