Latest update

COVID-19 continues to spread in Ethiopia, with the number of confirmed cases nearing 65,000 and deaths reaching 1022 as of 15 September. A government testing campaign is aimed at helping to identify hot spots and deal with the increasing cases. Schools and universities are closed, and large gatherings are banned. Weak health systems are already stretched to the breaking point, with many hospitals and clinics reporting with shortages of oxygen and beds for COVID-19 patients.

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COVID-19 in Ethiopia

How is Compassion currently operating in Ethiopia?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    All Compassion child development centres have paused group activities, meetings and training.

    Partner church staff members in Ethiopia have distributed __431,964 food packs and 306,744 hygiene kits and have provided medical support to 18,857 individuals. __

    Centre workers are diligently checking on children and looking for signs of abuse. Additionally, staff has ensured that 526 centres across the nation have working hand-washing facilities for children, families and the community to access. Recently, flooding has affected parts of the country, and Compassion Ethiopia staff members are visiting affected church partners to offer assistance.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    The majority of 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 continue to be distributed in the Ethiopia, although they are currently delayed. Staff members have been 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 children and families in Ethiopia who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Protection and healing over Compassion assisted children Kalkidan and Abel, who are both awaiting heart surgery.
  • Compassion Ethiopia’s leadership as they create, develop and revise their response to COVID-19 to provide useful tools and resources to the church partners they serve.
  • Wisdom and knowledge for government officials as they make decisions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Peace, comfort and protection for children and their families as COVID-19 has caused a lot of fear and anxiety.
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

Crisis Reports from Ethiopia

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    Flooding in Jigjiga Town, Ethiopia (Crisis Update) 09 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    Torrential rainfall caused flooding in the southeastern town of Jigjiga. The flooding damaged homes, destroyed household items, and ruined food supplies.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 37

    New information

    The local church partners plan on purchasing food, beds, mattresses, and other livelihood items with Disaster Relief funds and distributing them to affected families.

    Prayer

    Please continue to pray for the affected children and their families as they recover from damages and losses.

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    Flooding in Metehara Town, Ethiopia (Crisis Update) 09 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    More heavy rainfall caused the river to overflow again and flooded the whole town.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 4 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 757

    New information

    In addition to the affected children, 13 local church partner staff have also been impacted and are living in temporary evacuation locations. Homes and household items have been damaged, as well as farmland and livelihoods destroyed.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the affected children, families and church partner staff as they recover from damages and losses and have to live in temporary locations.

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    Flooding in Metehara Town, Ethiopia (Crisis Update) 03 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    More heavy rainfall caused the river to overflow again and flooded the whole town.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 53

    New information

    A third local church partner (ET0416) has reported impact to children. Staff are assessing the impact and will be reporting specific impact details as they have them. The local church partners are helping the families find a safer area to settle in.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the affected families to find safer locations to live.

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    Flooding in Bahir-Dar Town, Ethiopia (Crisis Update) 01 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    Severe flooding occurred in the town of Bahir-Dar in the Amhara Region.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 1 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 10

    New information

    The local church partners are utilising Disaster Relief funds to support the affected families with food, beds, mattresses, and other livelihood items.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the provision and peace of the affected children, families and church partners.

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    Flooding in Wolenchiti Town, Ethiopia (Crisis Update) 01 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    Heavy rainfall caused flooding in the town of Wolenchiti in the Oromia Region. The flooding has damaged many homes and household items, as well as affected the livelihood of many families.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 63

    New information

    The local church partners are utilising Disaster Relief funds to support the affected families with food, beds, mattresses, and other livelihood items.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the affected children and families to be well supported by the churches.

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    Flooding in Metehara Town, Ethiopia 28 Aug, 2020

    The situation

    Heavy rainfall caused the Awash River and the Beseka Lake to overflow. The flooding has damaged homes and destroyed the livelihood of many people in the Metehara community.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: unknown Number of Compassion assisted children affected: unknown

    New information

    Affected children from two local church partners—ET0117 and ET0313—and their families are temporarily staying in shelters at three government schools. The local church partners are assessing impact and determining the best way to support the affected families.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the provision and safety of affected children, families and local church partners.

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    Flooding in Jigjiga Town, Ethiopia 24 Aug, 2020

    The situation

    Torrential rainfall caused flooding in the southeastern town of Jigjiga. The flooding damaged homes, destroyed household items, and ruined food supplies.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: unknown Number of Compassion assisted children affected: unknown

    New information

    Three local church partners (ET0382, ET0584 and ET4009) are located in the area most severely affected. They are assessing the impact to children.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the safety and provision for children and families in the area.

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    Flooding in Bahir-Dar Town, Ethiopia 18 Aug, 2020

    The situation

    Severe flooding occurred in the town of Bahir-Dar in the Amhara Region. It caused damage to homes and household items, as well as loss of livelihood.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: unknown Number of Compassion assisted children affected: unknown

    New information

    Compassion's local church partner ET0223 is assessing impact to families. The church's building was flooded, which caused damage to furniture, computers and cameras.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the safety and provision of affected children and their families, and our local church partner.

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    Flooding in Wolenchiti Town, Ethiopia 12 Aug, 2020

    The situation

    Heavy rainfall caused flooding in the town of Wolenchiti in the Oromia Region. The flooding has damaged many homes and household items, as well as affected the livelihood of many families.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: unknown

    New information

    The flooding has impacted families from four local church partners—ET0163, ET0494, ET0374 and ET0276. The staff are assessing impact and determining how to best support the affected families.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the safety and provision of affected children and their families.

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, most child development centres in Ethiopia are temporarily closed. 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.
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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

401

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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12 Mar, 2020

Meet the Children Who Proved Their Circumstances Wrong

Life can be challenging for children living in poverty, especially when difficulties get in the way of daily life. Learn how these inspiring children showed their circumstances who’s boss!.. Read more

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Will COVID-19 Lead to Increased Poverty?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has left millions struggling with unemployment and uncertainty. But what will it mean for our world's most vulnerable citizens—children living in poverty?.. Read more

04 Jun, 2020

Four Children Share their COVID Silver Linings

If you’re bored, anxious or overwhelmed by the COVID-19 restrictions on socialising, you’re not alone. For Compassion assisted children in Ethiopia, the world has changed—but joy can hide in unexpected places. Four children share the silver linings they’ve found in this unprecedented season... Read more