When Rainbow Humanitarian Caretaker Foundation was founded in 1996, there were very few organizations focusing on urban homelessness. The lack of safe housing and education for women and children could not be ignored. RHCF was formed in recognition of the need to nourish the mind, body, and souls of Ethiopia. Weyenshet Shiferaw is the organization's founder and remains so today. She is a native Ethiopian who has lived in the United States for the past 20 years.

Over time, the Rainbow Humanitarian Caretaker Foundation has become a leading advocate and voice on the issue of homelessness in the capital, Addis Ababa. Under Shiferaw's stewardship, highlights of the last eleven years include outreach to young homeless women and children and the creation of huts that house children and their relatives. In 2007, the government of Ethiopia supplied the organization with a plot of land in the countryside, Debre Musa, where our new project will begin. This includes building a school, clinic, volunteer center, and a farm.

The year 2008 brings with it renewed hope to reach thousands more living on the streets; the continuation of a platform for outreach to women and children; and an international push to spread out word about our organization.


Executive Director/Founder: Weyenshet Shiferaw
Project Manager - Ethiopia (Volunteer): Solomon Haile-Mariam
Project Advisor (Volunteer): Silva Stownsend
Secretary/Project Assistant - Ethiopia: Fasika Merid
Creative Advisor/Public Relations (Volunteer): Matthew Hausle

Founding Board Member
Rita Franciosa (Volunteer)

Board Members
Matthew Hausle, President
Lydia Shiferaw, Vice President
Selerin Ntahitagabira, Treasurer
Simone McSparran DeRoche, Secretary
Warden Neil, Volunteer
Jill Cululu, Volunteer


Weyenshet Shiferaw is a native of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; but has lived in the U.S. for 20 years. She worked as a medial librarian before escaping to New York during the Ethiopian Revolution. Weyenshet, aka Winnie, began studying as a beautician in New York City, but while studying she had a heavy heart at the thought of those she left behind. Through much prayer and contemplation she finally received an answer from God and realized her mission.

In 1996, Winnie had a vision of Jesus Christ in a dream. In this vision, she saw a rainbow that stretched over the sky; the rainbow was filled with the colors of the Ethiopian flag and a Lion holding a cross. Below the Lion was written King of Kings, Lion of Judah, the Lord then handed Winnie this flag filled rainbow. She took this as a sign from God to return to Ethiopia and give her people the same chance America had given her. From this vision Rainbow Humanitarian Caretaker Foundation was born. Winnie has maintained a lifelong commitment to those in need both in her native Ethiopia and in the United States.