Latest update

Conflict in northern Ethiopia from November 2020 to November 2022 meant millions of people were displaced from their homes and are still in need of urgent support. Combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and devastating flooding and locust invasions in 2020, many families are experiencing extreme food shortages.

Our local church partners are helping families recover by providing emergency food packs and trauma counselling, as well as resourcing schools so children can continue their education. You can find out more about the how Compassion has been supporting our local church partners in conflict-affected areas of Ethiopia here.

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 from our Ethiopian church partners below to learn more.

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Country update

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 that God would provide for the local workers and families who are impacted by inflation and the global food crisis.
  • Pray that children will receive the food they need to support their growth and development.
  • Praise God that normal operations have now resumed for local church partners in conflict-affected areas of Ethiopia.
  • Pray that God's provision and healing would be over people who are internally displaced as a result of the conflict.
  • Pray that God would provide renewed hope and encouragement for the local staff, pastors and volunteers.
  • Pray that peace would continue to prevail in Ethiopia.
The blessing of food in Ethiopia

The blessing of food in Ethiopia

Alemitu is a mother of twin boys who are supported by their local Compassion centre. Alemitu and her family depended on her husband’s income, which he earned as a Bajaj (transportation) driver. But when her husband got into a motorbike accident and was unable to work, money was even tighter than usual. Alemitu found it impossible to feed her children daily.   Read more open_in_new

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


of people live in extreme poverty


of children under 5 years old are experiencing stunted growth


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

As one of the oldest nations in the world, Ethiopia has a rich and proud history. It is the largest and most populated country in the Horn of Africa and its economy is heavily agricultural. Ethiopia has a strong tradition of music and is thought to be the birthplace of coffee.

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, and devastating famines in the late 20th century severely curtailed its progress.

Much of Ethiopia’s economy is based on agriculture, yet deforestation and severe weather events 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. Conflict centred in the Tigray region from November 2020 to November 2022 left millions of people displaced and in need of urgent humanitarian support.

A collision of crises including conflict, COVID-19 and drought has left many families facing unacceptable levels of hunger. 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