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, inflation and devastating flooding and locust invasions in 2020, these crises have caused extreme food shortages for many families. The humanitarian crisis in this country has worsened as a result.

You can find out more about the impacts of the conflict in Ethiopia on Compassion's work and our church partners 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.

READ MOREkeyboard_arrow_down READ LESSkeyboard_arrow_up

Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Ethiopia?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Our centres in Ethiopia are operating at a variety of capacities depending on their region and the impacts of the current conflict and COVID-19. 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 where possible.

  • 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. Thank you for continuing to send your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. Your words have a meaningful and lasting impact in the life of a child and we look forward to delivering your messages!

  • 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 that Samiya will find a better-paying job so she can provide for her children.
  • Pray that God would provide for the local workers and families who are impacted by inflation and the global food crisis.
  • Praise God that communication has now been restored between Compassion and all local church partners in Tigray amid ongoing conflict in the area.
  • Pray that the most vulnerable will be protected from any fighting, and for a continuation of the peace process that has started.
  • Pray for the 30 new child development centres in Ethiopia that will be launching this year.
  • 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: Ethiopia is one of nine Compassion partner countries that are severely affected by the current global food crisis. Our local church partners are responding with both short-term relief and long-term solutions to fight hunger.

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

arrow down

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

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 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.

READ MOREkeyboard_arrow_down READ LESSkeyboard_arrow_up

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