Latest update

Conflict in northern Ethiopia has caused transportation, banking and communications to be cut off in parts of the country. Combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as flooding and locust invasions in 2020, these crises have caused extreme food shortages and loss of wages for many families. The humanitarian crisis in this country has worsened. Find out more about the impacts of the conflict on Compassion's work in Ethiopia here.

Some child development centres in Ethiopia are operating differently during this time. Many have now resumed normal program activities for registered children. Since the beginning of the pandemic, local workers in Ethiopia have delivered more than 1,695,000 food packs and 1,107,000 hygiene kits to families in poverty.

In times of crisis, Compassion’s highest priority is the safety and protection of the children we serve. We’re so grateful for your faithfulness in standing alongside our staff and church partners in Ethiopia.

Watch the video update below to learn more about Compassion's work in Ethiopia.

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Country update

Crisis Reports from Ethiopia

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    Conflict in Ethiopia (Crisis Update) 23 Jun, 2022

    The situation

    Violence and instability in parts of Ethiopia are affecting the ministry of Compassion and our church partners. The conflict began in November 2020 in the Tigray region and spread into some of the surrounding regions in 2021.

    As the conflict in Ethiopia has developed, some areas of the country have become inaccessible to Compassion because of the shutdown of communications, transport and banking. This has forced us to make the difficult decision to temporarily suspend our partnerships with 12 local church partners in the Tigray region.

    New information

    Our team in Ethiopia are working hard to explore ways to get aid to our church partners in Tigray. We hope to resume services once communications are operating and the violence subsides. We remain committed to these churches and the communities they serve for the long term and are ready to support them through disaster recovery when we can re-establish communication and funding.

    Since we regained contact with the 25 church partners in eastern Amhara that were previously suspended, Compassion has begun putting our crisis recovery plans into action.

    Many families have experienced damage to property and housing, loss of livelihoods, a lack of basic supplies or trauma. Compassion is helping to provide immediate emergency support, including food, critical supplies, housing costs, medical care and trauma counselling.

    In parts of the country less affected by the conflict, we are grateful that our church partners continue to deliver their programs as usual, with a priority focus on child protection.

    Read More about the conflict in Ethiopia.


    Please keep praying for Ethiopia. Pray that the violence will end and that the borders will be opened for aid to return to the families in Tigray. Pray for the safety and wellbeing of the children, families and church partners we serve in Ethiopia. Give thanks for the faithful ministry of our church partners in their communities.

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    Fire in Wonji-Shewa, Ethiopia 02 May, 2022

    The situation

    On April 15th, 2022, a fire broke out in the town of Wonji-Shewa, Ethiopia. A total of 11 Compassion assisted children and four local church partners were impacted by the disaster. The cause of the fire is currently unknown. The disaster has destroyed two homes, school materials and important household belongings. Livestock has also been destroyed for some families. Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 4
    Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 11

    New information

    Our local church partners are still examining the impact of the disaster, and impacted families are currently in need of physical support: food, water and livestock. Fortunately, local school activities have not been impacted as a result of the fire, and Compassion assisted children are still able to attend school.


    Please pray for God’s peace over those impacted by the disaster. Pray that they are able to receive the physical and spiritual support they need as they recover.

How is Compassion currently operating in Ethiopia?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Centres are operating at a variety of capacities depending on their region and local guidelines. The majority are allowing children to return in small groups for activities and classes and some have even been able to fully resume normal program activities. In some regions, centres remain closed for safety. Staff members continue to make home visits and phone calls to families.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Some letters are delayed in Ethiopia, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your sponsored child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts are currently being delivered in non-conflict areas in Ethiopia, though they may be delayed. Staff members may be given the option to disburse monetary gifts to caregivers, where appropriate. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for the children, families and local church partners we serve in Ethiopia.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for strength and comfort for four children who are receiving chemotherapy.
  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors treating six children who've been diagnosed with heart conditions.
  • Pray that communication will be restored with Compassion's partners in Tigray.
  • Pray for God's peace, protection and provision for children and families impacted by the conflict in Ethiopia.
  • Pray for unity and economic stability throughout the country.
  • Pray for wisdom as the staff and volunteers seek to distribute resources to those impacted by the conflict.
  • Pray that God would provide renewed hope and encouragement for the local staff, pastors and volunteers.
Newborn support in Ethiopia

Newborn support in Ethiopia

The excitement and anticipation of having a second baby was slowly deflated and replaced by fear for Aynalem and Tadesse. When COVID-19 caused both Aynalem and Tadesse to lose their income as quarantine was put in place in Ethiopia, they were terrified they wouldn’t be able to provide for their child.   Read more open_in_new


Please note: Due to the current pandemic, some child development centres in Ethiopia remain temporarily closed to large group activities. Our local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Ethiopia

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 11 visit the Compassion centre for eight hours on Saturdays.
  • Students aged 12 and older attend for eight hours every Saturday. They visit three to five days a week during school breaks.

Compassion Program Activities in Ethiopia

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Compassion assisted children in Ethiopia typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Ethiopia.

9:00am - A time of prayer and devotion.

9:30am - Spiritual lessons in which children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Snack and social time. Light snacks are usually provided at the centre, including bread, tea and crackers. Every three months, supplementary grain and cooking oil is provided to families. If a child shows evidence of malnutrition, centre staff will seek the advice of a doctor and provide additional food and nutritional support accordingly.

1:00pm - Health lessons, in which children learn practical health and hygiene tips. Example topics include how to prevent malaria and HIV transmission.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Students can elect vocational training skills depending on their area of interest, and often receive professional certification in the skill they are learning. Children in Ethiopia are offered additional classes in topics such as work ethics, study skills and entrepreneurship.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Ethiopia


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

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.

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.

Yet millions of Ethiopians still live in grinding poverty.

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.

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Stories from Compassion around the world

14 Mar, 2018

Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

It can be disappointing if your sponsored child hasn’t responded to your questions or even mentioned the letter you sent them. Here’s why this could be happening, plus handy tips to prevent it. .. Read more

06 Aug, 2015

3 Children Share Why They Love Receiving Letters

Supakan’s home has only one piece of furniture: a cupboard made from cardboard and glass. It’s where her family keeps their favourite, most precious belongings—like Supakan’s letters from her sponsor. Why are letters so valuable to sponsored children? We asked three children from around the world to share why their sponsor’s letters mean so much... Read more

24 Mar, 2020

Easy Sample Letter Templates for Your Sponsored Child

There's no question about it: your letters make a huge difference in your sponsored child's life. If you want to write to them but don't know where to start, simply customise the template letters below... Read more