There is an orphan crisis in Ethiopia. Currently, there are over 4,500,000 orphans in Ethiopia, and families and communities struggle immensely to provide these children with the support they need. As a result of poverty and famine, 44% of children have stunted development due to poor nutrition and just 40% of children complete primary school.
OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Our current Child Advocacy Team in Ethiopia will launch a regional Child Advocacy Center and focus on the following initiatives based on our new Child Advocacy Model. With this regional center as a hub, it’s our goal to:
PREVENT Expand family preservation opportunities by 250 percent so that 19,500 children never enter an orphanage.
PROVIDE Implement Caregiver Training Programs and provide emergency medical support to orphanages in crisis.
PREPARE Provide vocational training and university scholarships for orphans aging out of institutions so that 640 children are prepared to successfully transition to independence each year.
POLICY Confront corruption in partnership with government officials to create a process that supports ethical adoption. As a result, 9,000 orphans in Sub-Sahara Africa will have a path to family through adoption. Additionally, we’re working to unite over 50 NGOs to create a regionally unified, strategic Child Advocacy plan.
With the official closing of inter-country adoption, AGCI is continuing to support kids within the country through critical support services. As many agencies pack their bags, we know our hands and our hearts are needed now more than ever! Support these children by becoming a sponsor.
AGCI helps preserve vulnerable families in Ethiopia through our micro-grant program. Through training, mentorship, and a one-time grant, we’re helping women start their own businesses and better provide for their families. By providing these women with vocational skills, education, and counseling, we’re not only empowering them as individuals, but also strengthening their families. To date, we’ve issued over 500 income generating grants to single mothers in Ethiopia to start a business and support their children. Additionally, we have provided over 130,760 vulnerable families with critical support services through AGCI’s construction of daycares, school facilities, and community centers.
Education Sponsorship is another way that AGCI empowers vulnerable families to break the cycle of poverty. Over the last ten years, 1,200 children have received an education through AGCI’s Ethiopia Education Sponsorship program! Through monthly sponsorship, vulnerable children receive support for annual school fees, uniforms, school supplies, lunch money for school days and a savings program for future education. Sponsored children are up to 40% more likely to complete secondary school and up to 80% more likely to complete a university education–this support is truly life changing! As we grow our family preservation efforts, we’re also looking to expand our daycare model into Addis Ababa and Tigray so that low-income families have a safe place to leave their kids while they work.
Since 2007, our Hannah’s Hope home in Gambella has served one of the most devastated and isolated regions of Ethiopia. While some of these children come into care only temporarily so their family can stabilize, many are orphaned by poverty, disease, or the conflict in nearby South Sudan. Our Ethiopia Hannah’s Hope staff of 10 is currently made up of a team of special mothers, cooks, cleaners and a social worker.
Our social worker helps us identify long-term care options for the children at the home and advocates for the best possible outcomes for these children. Through Sponsorship, we’re able to fund the exceptional, life-changing care these children receive! To date, over 1,014 orphans have received loving, family-like care through our Ethiopia Hannah’s Hope home.
Through grants and sponsorship, we’re helping vulnerable teenagers in Ethiopia break the cycle of poverty. Sponsorship provides these kids with funds for college tuition, textbooks, and housing so they are able to pursue their education and create independent, successful futures.
So far, 150 orphaned students have received a scholarship to go to college and pursue their dreams.
AGCI is working to connect with other NGOs that are active in Ethiopia to create a coalition. This group would help to define which services organizations are providing and how we can collectively tackle issues that children throughout Ethiopia face. We have a scope of work we know needs to happen and our goal is to find ways we can work with other NGOs throughout Ethiopia to ensure those needs are being met.
We’re also continuing our work with the State Department and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs around advocacy for reforming adoption.
While Ethiopia is currently closed to inter-country adoption, our hope is to help promote a more centralized system that’s in line with Hague and can help give the checks and balances needed for ethical adoption to reopen in Ethiopia.
Our other goal is to expand our caretaker training curriculum to the federal level so that this training can be the framework for childcare in Ethiopia moving forward.
When 2-year-old Sifen arrived at Foten, the home AGCI is working with in Ethiopia, she was weak and despondent, still recovering from a surgical error that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Sifen’s health was fragile at best when she received the additional diagnosis of hydrocephalus. Without emergency surgery to drain the fluids around her brain, Sifen had little hope of survival.
And then, something amazing happened—almost overnight, donations and messages of love and hope flooded in. Through His grace and the generosity of AGCI supporters, Sifen’s surgery is now fully funded! Sifen has since undergone life saving surgery and is happily recovering thanks to the loving, elevated care, nutritious food, and essential therapies provided by dedicated sponsors. This care saved Sifen’s life!