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Snapshot of Ethiopia


of people live below the poverty line


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births


lack access to improved sanitation

Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in the world, with a rich and proud history. It is the largest and most populated nation in the Horn of Africa.

Yet millions of Ethiopians still live in grinding poverty.

Ethiopia has played a key role in Africa’s development. It was one of the first to sign the Charter of the United Nations and was a powerful symbol of African freedom and sovereignty during an era of widespread colonisation.

Decades of political instability, ongoing conflict with Eritrea, and devastating famines in the late 20th century severely curtailed its progress.

Much of Ethiopia’s economy is based on agriculture, yet deforestation and changing climate factors leave it vulnerable to drought.

Diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis continue to claim thousands of lives every year, and the most vulnerable are the youngest children.

Ethiopia is also home to a large population of displaced people, many from farming towns whose crops have failed in recent years, as well as refugees from surrounding nations, including South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.

More than one in three children across the country suffer from malnutrition, which affects every part of life and makes them more vulnerable to other diseases. The nation still has one of the world’s highest mortality rates for children under the age of five.

Christianity became Ethiopia’s state religion in the fourth century, and the Church remains a beacon of hope in local communities across the country.

In the midst of difficult circumstances, local churches are giving the children the practical, spiritual and emotional support they need to thrive.

Tsehaywota Taddesse

Letter from Compassion Ethiopia Director Tsehaywota Taddesse

Dear Sponsor, I am Tsehaywota Taddesse; I have been the Country Director of Compassion Ethiopia since December 2008. I am married and a father of three children, two girls and a boy. One of my life’s favourite things is being with my children, playing with them, going out for a walk. It gives me life and reminds me of how honourable it is to serve children. Getting closer to children drives passion to serve them.

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Fuad Beats The Odds

When Fuad Mohammed began avoiding activities with his friends and dreading the walk home from school due to shortness of breath, he knew something wasn’t right. “It all felt strange,” says Fuad. “I was very active and energetic, but that slowly changed. I kept all the pain to myself and didn’t want to tell anyone. I thought it would somehow go away, and I didn’t want to worry my parents.” His father noticed his struggle when a walk that would normally take 30 minutes took two hours, leaving 15-year-old Fuad to catch his breath on the side of the road every five minutes.

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Prayer requests for Ethiopia

  • Pray for Umarian, a sponsored boy who is undergoing brain surgery. Pray for him and his family to experience the depth of God’s peace as they prepare for the surgery and throughout his recovery. Pray for the medical teams; for steady hands and clear thinking.
  • Pray for all Compassion assisted children and their families, as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic causes widespread fear and uncertainty. Pray that God’s Spirit will fill them with faith and confidence in Him. Pray that God will provide for their needs, both physical and spiritual, in such a difficult time.
  • Pray for wisdom, creativity and endurance for the local centre staff, who continue to care for the children in very different circumstances. Pray that they will be able to continue to reach the most vulnerable, especially those with medical needs or at risk of abuse. Pray for safety and protection over these children.
  • Pray for Kalkidan and Abel, a Compassion assisted boy and girl from different communities who are both due to undergo heart surgery soon. Pray that the procedures will go well; that God will restore His children to full health. Pray for their families and loved ones as they stand beside them and support them.
  • Pray that God would bless the minds and hearts of the children as they seek to gain wisdom and understanding to be successful academically. Pray for them especially during this season as schools are closed, that they would be able to continue to learn and develop with the help of their families and local Compassion centres.

Stories from Compassion in Ethiopia

01 Nov, 2018

24 Beautiful Photos Of How Sponsored Children Get Your Letters

Ever wondered how many hands, planes, buses, motorbikes or elephants it takes to deliver the letter that you’ve written to your sponsored child? Let’s take a look!.. Read more

30 Apr, 2020

Inspiring Mothers Who Defied all Odds

When it comes to their children, a mother's love can defy all odds and overcome impossible hurdles. Here are five stories of mums in the Compassion family that are an inspiration to us all... Read more

12 Apr, 2018

What Possessions Do Children Living in Poverty Treasure Most?

From remote, isolated tribal communities to bustling cities and crowded slums, 10 children in our Child Sponsorship Program share their treasured possessions. These are their beautiful, surprising and funny answers... Read more