A Local Perspective on Helping Kids in Poverty in Ethiopia in 2022

Q & A with Getachew Teku, OneChild Country Director in Ethiopia

Combatting Child Hunger and Other Challenges Children Face

 

Getachew Teku greeting a crowd of children at a Hope Center

Getachew Teku, OneChild Ethiopia Country Director

Ethiopia is known for its rich cultural identity, diverse wildlife, and beautiful natural landscape. But sadly, devastating droughts and ethnic violence threaten the well-being of families, especially kids, who are the most vulnerable. Malnutrition among children has reached unprecedented levels. These are some of the hurdles that children in poverty face in Ethiopia.

But Child Champions in Ethiopia are there to help kids past these hurdles, working tirelessly so they can thrive. Beyond serving the kids at the Hope Centers, they also minister to their whole families. And people in our global community who sponsor a child in Ethiopia are joining them in this work.

Hearing how they are helping kids fills us with hope, and we’re excited to share this hope with you.

Children filling jerrycans with water at a community hand pump

Children are the hardest hit by crises and poverty.

Recently we connected with Getachew Teku, our Country Director in Ethiopia for 16 years, who told us about how our Child Champions in Ethiopia have helped the kids in so many ways in 2022, including:

  • Visiting kids’ homes to help out with chores and offer counseling.
  • Encouraging children in their social interactions.
  • Listening to the kids and encouraging them in their dreams to pursue a career.
  • Planning to open more Hope Centers in Ethiopia.

Here’s a recap of Getachew’s look back at 2022:

Although we came out of a global pandemic, communities are still feeling its effects in addition to challenges they typically face. What would you say was the hardest part of 2022 where you live?

A boy and his mother hug while seated on a couch in their tiny home

Christian’s Hope Center has been a consistent source of hope to him and his mom since his father’s death.

Children experience great instability. Many do not live with their biological parents, which makes them more vulnerable to different abuses including child labor. If their parents or guardians can find work, they often have to be gone for many hours. This means they have very limited attention for their children because they must sustain the family. Other children and their families are displaced due to city renovation, civil war, armed attacks because of ethnic identity, and natural disasters like drought and locust infestations. Living costs have also skyrocketed, making it even more difficult for families to get by.

Read about how a sponsor’s gift helped a family in Ethiopia make ends meet.

How were your Child Champions and Hope Centers able to address some of these concerns?

Child Champions did so much! They made home visits, linked families to local resources that could help them, and even did household chores and took care of the children if their parents were sick or busy working. They shared the children’s burdens by walking alongside them, rendering counseling services, and praying together. Most important, our Child Champions gave the children hope.

What items or services were most needed in your area to help children thrive?

Children did best when they had healthy social interaction with their peers, the knowledge of being loved and cared for, confidence to speak their mind, skills to listen and communicate well, an optimistic outlook, and life goals to pursue.

What were some of the most common responses when children were asked about their dreams or aspirations?

Children wanted to see their families prosper through good health and long lives. They said they wanted to have a good education so they could someday help their parents and communities. Many wanted to pursue careers in medical science, engineering, and business.

Five youth playing vollyball in front of teal colored cement building

Hope Centers provide a safe gathering place for youth in dangerous neighborhoods.

What is your hope for the OneChild program in Ethiopia this year?

I have a vision to open two new Hope Centers so we can serve more children. I would also like to see 80% of the youth who graduate this year go on to study at the university so they can be well-equipped to become leaders in the community.


Learn more about Ethiopia and how you can pray for our dedicated Child Champions and the beautiful families and kids there.

Help Getachew and other Child Champions in Africa help more kids. Sponsor a child today.

 

 

Help this story grow:

We are accountable to the children we serve AND to our donors.

Our accountability to our donors is one of our highest priorities. Our goal is to use the funds entrusted to us as wise stewards. To do this requires continued monitoring of our fund distribution. OneChild is also a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)

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