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Food Crisis in Ethiopia: Emergency Aid Needed. Help Now.

Ethiopia is the oldest independent nation in Africa and the second-most populated. Adequate food and water supplies are continually threatened by natural disasters and drought in Ethiopia, which contribute to malnutrition and disease in many children. ChildFund Ethiopia focuses on child and maternal health services, nutrition, child protection, access to quality early childhood development services, orphan support, economic strengthening, water and sanitation, and parent and caregiver education.

ChildFund has served children in Ethiopia since 1972. Help make a difference and sponsor a child in Ethiopia today.  

The health of mothers and newborns in Ethiopia is often at risk, since most women do not deliver in hospitals or receive adequate pre and postnatal care. ChildFund’s programs encourage mothers to deliver at healthcare institutions, improving their chances of postnatal care and reducing the risk of maternal and infant fatalities. By providing better access to safe water and educating communities on sanitation practices, ChildFund also helps to reduce the spread of communicable diseases in Ethiopia. Village savings and loan groups, supported by ChildFund and its partners, empower caregivers and parents by improving their livelihoods and increasing household income. Members use the income generated to pay for food, school materials and medication for their children, and economically empowered women raise their voices at the household level, improving their leadership roles within the family. Our local partners also work with government elementary schools to share facilities for early childhood development programs.

Interactive learning, peer education, early-grade reading and tutoring are some of the effective approaches ChildFund and our local partners use with school-age children in Ethiopia. Through groups such as parent-student-teacher associations, parents and communities become more positively engaged and help contribute to this effort. Children practice literacy skills in reading rooms designed to provide students with an array of reading materials and opportunities. Tutorial support improves students’ reading and writing skills – and raises their interest in remaining in school, while keeping them from prematurely entering the labor force. ChildFund Ethiopia trains teachers and parents of children with disabilities about the importance of education for all children, regardless of their disabilities. The Ethiopian government supports inclusive education programs as well.

ChildFund offers coaching and financial support for youth who pursue higher education in Ethiopia. We also help them find decently paying jobs in non-exploitative work environments, or start small businesses after completing vocational and skills training based on market needs. ChildFund Ethiopia’s youth programming also involves encouraging youth to develop good saving habits. ChildFund and its partners facilitate comprehensive reproductive health education and services for youth, including HIV counseling and testing. As a result, early pregnancy, the number of abortions and prevalence of HIV in Ethiopia are decreasing. ChildFund Ethiopia’s youth programming goals also include enhancing leadership skills among youth, which leads to stronger community engagement. Thanks to our training and support, youth enter leadership positions in various clubs, and increase their self-esteem, allowing them to have a positive outlook for their future.

This unique 30-month agricultural project combines protecting the environment with strengthening families’ economic outlook by developing sustainable agricultural livelihoods through effective natural resource management. The program trains 450 women in nine women-producer groups in business management and entrepreneurship, gender equity in natural resource management, and harmful traditional practices. In addition to the financial and in-kind benefits, the women experience the opportunity to develop their leadership abilities while engaging in the group activities and group management. The skills gained further enhance participation, commitment and decision-making in relation to natural-resource management amongst Ethiopian women.

Education in Ethiopia has been severely stunted by three decades of food insecurity and civil war. The education system has improved since the regime change in 1991, but it largely remains inadequate or simply inaccessible for most children. Class sizes are too large, and teachers are underpaid. Impoverished families are unable to pay for textbooks, school clothes and other necessities needed. Primary school attendance rates are low, about 80 percent. With secondary school attendance rates as low as 26 percent, families are less likely to emerge from generational poverty.

Ethiopian girls face even more of a challenge in receiving a proper education. They are expected to perform housekeeping duties on top of school, and marry young. With two in five girls married by 18 and one in five girls married by 15, many never get a chance for a full education. Girls who do attend school are also more vulnerable to physical violence from teachers and classmates. Overall, social pressure puts girls in Ethiopia at a significant disadvantage for education.

ChildFund has improved access to education in Ethiopia by increasing the capacity of schools and expanded libraries with much-needed books. We also work with parents and caregivers to show them the best ways to teach their children and foster healthy mental, physical and social development. Every year, we provide more than 14,000 children access to early childhood care and support. To help ensure a child in Ethiopia has access to the educational opportunities he or she needs, consider sponsoring a child today.


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  • September 12, 2011

    4 years old

  • Ethiopia


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