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 eight more children – three from Ethiopia and five 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. We have been asked to partner with this strong and resilient people to aid them in achieving the needed improvements. We feel deeply privileged to be that partner, and are committed to co-creating lasting, sustainable self-directed changes that the Ethiopian people choose and design.

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.                                          


The Team at Uryadi's Village


Uryadi's Village is a 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.

To donate to Uryadi's Village, please use the Paypal link below:

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