Our Story

jennifer-uryadis-village (2).jpg

In 2003, when Uryadi’s Village Founder Jennifer Crooks traveled with her husband Mike, and her family (already consisting of 5 children, Lauren 17, Sean, 15, Catherine 11, Ciara 7, and Hunter,6) traveled to China to adopt her daughter Sophie (14 months), her eyes were opened for the first time to the sad plight of orphans in developing countries around the world. Walking into that rural orphanage, where the most basic needs of the children were barely being met, Jennifer’s world-view changes in an instant. She was immediately overwhelmed by a burning and heart-felt desire to create change, and to make a real and lasting contribution toward improving the care and quality of life for such vulnerable children worldwide. 

During  the next ten years, Jennifer and her family adopted eleven more children – five from Ethiopia and six from China.  Now that her own family is complete, Jennifer has founded Uryadi’s Village to help the children and families who are struggling to survive, and in many cases, to stay together.

Jennifer explains in her own words: 

Having spent months on the ground in Ethiopia arranging for the adoption of my three Ethiopian children, learning about many of the deep seeded problems orphaned children face, and being with the amazing people: it became very clear that Ethiopia is the place to start.

Millions of mothers are unable to meet their children’s needs, as was the case with my own amazing daughter Millie, whose birth mother could no longer take care of her, due to family and economic instability. Watching birth-mother and daughter embrace for the last time was heart shattering , and only added to my determination to play a role in improving the quality of life for such children in the future.

The only country in Africa never to be colonized, Ethiopia has a strong and rich culture populated by a hospitable and proud people. It is undergoing the changes necessary to prepare it for the development of sustainable local solutions. However, it cannot achieve the needed improvements on its own. It needs outside, professional, and competent help from a deeply committed team.

That is where we come in. That is our goal here at Uryadi’s Village.”

All of us here at Uryadi's Village are proud to stand alongside Jennifer. Her passion for children in need and particularly Ethiopia and its amazing culture is a daily inspiration.  Please check out all the wonderful projects that are being undertaken. We think you will agree.                                          


Uryadi's Village is a registered Not-For-Profit Organization in Canada, as well as a project of Empowerment WORKS, a US registered 501c3 charitable organization.

All contributions in support of Uryadi's Village are tax deductible in the US and Canada as allowed by law. US residents please donate in USD and Canadian residents, please donate in CAD to receive your charitable donation receipts.

To make a donation to Uryadi's Village, please use the secure Paypal links below

You can also send your donations by check directly to: Uryadi's Village, P.O. BOX1086, Sandpoint, ID 83864