Va. Beach family offers opportunities to Ethiopian children in need

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) –  What started as one Virginia Beach family’s decision to adopt from Ethiopia has turned into an international charity that’s helping more kids than they ever dreamed.

The Gaines family has adopted four boys over the past 13 years.

Andrea Gaines created Habesha Momma. “So if you’re Ethiopian you’re a Habesha and since we have four children from Ethiopia — I’m a Habesha Momma.”

She started making trips with people from her church going into a leper colony and setting up a daycare and installing water filters.

Three years ago they built a school and a halfway house for street children. “Most of the children work at night and they work selling cigarettes and tissues and things to people at the bars,” she told

It could have been her children. Had her son, Nahom not been adopted, “I would probably have ended up just trying to work to help my family, ” he said.

He is now in advanced classes at his middle school with dreams of creating holographic video game consoles one day.

Over the past decade Andrea has gone to Ethiopia 18 times and plans to return next month to continue her work with the school and halfway house.

In order to help pay for the trips, teachers salaries, and other programs for the people there Habesha Momma is holding a World Food Fair fundraiser Saturday, Oct. 14

It’s being held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Beach Fellowship, 1817 General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach.

There will be food and entertainment from around the world. Tickets are $25 in advance for adults, $10 for Kids 10 and under.