WOLAITA SODO, ETHIOPIA
Help One Now is supporting orphan prevention through our Family Empowerment Program.
Ethiopia, claimed by many as the birthplace of humanity, is Africa’s oldest independent nation. Never colonized by a European power, the culture and history of Ethiopia is rich and fascinating. The people of this great country in the Horn of Africa are beautiful, proud, and full of love. Yet, as a nation, Ethiopia is only one generation removed from crippling drought, famine and a violent and oppressive Communist revolution. As in many parts of Africa, HIV/AIDS has taken it’s toll and over 50% of the population are under age of 18.
There are 4.5 million orphans in Ethiopia; 31% of the population live on less that $1.25/day; and only 1 in 7 children participate in secondary school. Gunchire, Ethiopia, a predominantly Muslim rural town a few hours southwest of Addis Ababa, is a harsh and difficult place to live. HIV/AIDS is prevalent. The exploitation of women and children, including sex and labor trafficking, is customary. The education system is poor, and unhealthy marriage practices — including older men with girls as young as 10, polygamy, rape, female circumcision, etc. — are commonplace.
Population: 91.73 million (46.35 million under age of 18)
Area: 435,200 sq mi
Year of Independence: Africa’s oldest independent country, Ethiopia was never colonized by a European power.
PEOPLE IN ETHIOPIA
- 55% youth literacy rate; 39% adult literacy rate
- 15.6% secondary school participation
- 59 year life expectancy (up 12 years from 1990)
- 840,000 people living with AIDS
- 49% of population using improved drinking water sources
POVERTY IN ETHIOPIA
Pop. Living In Poverty: 30.7% living on less than US $1.25/day
Orphan Pop.: 4,500,000 (have lost one or both parents due to all causes)
HIGH RISKS IN ETHIOPIA
- Girls from Ethiopia’s rural areas are exploited in domestic servitude & prostitution within the country, while boys are subjected to forced labor in weaving, herding, guarding & street vending.
- 2018 Trafficking In Persons Report, Ethiopia
We are partnering with a brilliant local leader, Aschalew Abebe — who is committed to see orphaned children released from physical, economic, and spiritual poverty, and to care for vulnerable children in the Wolaita Sodo community. While Aschalew and his team in Gunchire are championing indigenous orphan care and domestic adoption (Ethiopian families adopting Ethiopian orphans through the legal process), we are focusing on holistic community development to keep vulnerable kids WITH their families and help transform the community. Essentially, it’s orphan prevention!
By addressing desperate social needs such as education, nutrition, health care, social awareness, leadership training, and economic development, we can ensure that families have a chance to stay together. They won’t have to make the impossible and unjust decision of which children they can afford to keep. And in time, as health and education permeate this younger generation, change and progress will come from within rather than without. Under the local leadership that Kidmia has established, and with the help of the Help One Now vulnerable child sponsorship program, we believe that these families can break the cycle of extreme poverty.
Through continued child sponsorship, empowerment of the family unit, and cultivating a community that cares for orphans, more and more families are staying together and gaining traction. 150 families across our Ethiopia programs will complete our economic empowerment program in 2018 and another 200 in 2019. With the addition of supporting a local hospital in Gunchire in 2018, these families will have improved access to healthcare, so that they are more likely to be healthy and able to work. The impact over time will be economic stability that continues to rise and ripple throughout the community. We hope to take this combined model of orphan care and orphan prevention and apply it to other high risk areas in Ethiopia as well as countries around the world.
THE LOCAL LEADER
Aschalew Abebe – is the Ethiopia Director for Kidmia, an organization committed to see orphaned and vulnerable children released from physical, economic, and spiritual poverty and enjoy life to its fullest. Aschalew, who has a Master’s Degree in community development and has studied in Germany and South America, has been influential in helping many children receive holistic and sustainable care in Ethiopia. And he LOVES macchiatos!
We are currently partnering with Aschalew through our child sponsorship program to improve the lives of families and provide opportunities for children in Gunchire, an extremely impoverished community.
You may remember our friend Ashike Zema. We shared her story last year - a story of confidence and uncontainable joy that came from Ashike completing the Family Empowerment Program and finally opening her own business. Her future was bright, and she believed that...
Last week, I wrote about how my time in The Middle East broke my heart. But eight days in Ethiopia reminded me that the work we do is succeeding beyond our hopes and dreams. My heart is full, because I was able to see so many lives transformed while in Ethiopia....
Personal success is a powerful thing! Because of donors like you, our local leaders are able to invest in the personal success of hundreds of women and their families. The impact is immense and the ripple effects immeasurable. We are so grateful to all of you, and...
Help One Now empowers families in developing countries through high-capacity local leaders with proven solutions to end extreme poverty.