As many of you are already aware, Indigo Valley partners with Compassion UK to support children in many of the coffee-growing regions of the world. In the past we have supported projects in the Philippines and Rwanda through their RESPOND Water of Life projects which aim to provide children and their families with safe drinking water for life. This year we have turned our focus to Ethiopia, where alongside the clean water programme, Compassion are also working to provide better sanitation and hygiene training.
Ethiopia in numbers:
- Life expectancy: Male 59, Female 62
- Population with improved drinking water: 93% urban, 48% rural
- Percentage of underweight children: 25%
- Literacy rate: 57% Male, 41% Female
- Child labour: 53%
- Percentage living below the poverty line: 33% (29.4 million)
Ethiopia's economy is heavily reliant on agriculture. It's most famous export is coffee, which is actually believed to have originated in the country. However, droughts and unstable climate change have posed problems for farmers and their families. As a consequence many children are expected to work rather than go to school. Those schools that there are in rural communities are often poorly resourced, whilst many girls may well be married by the time they are 16.
Compassion's work in Ethiopia began in 1993. Currently there are more than 110,709 children participating in more than 473 child development centres. Sponsored children generally attend project days on Saturdays, which include social and spiritual teaching, health lessons, literacy and career planning.
This month, Indigo Valley Director Andrew Salsbury will be flying out to Ethiopia to spend a week on the ground visiting three different Compassion projects:
Debrezie Lemlem Mekane Yesus Student Centre, 45km southeast of Addis Ababa
This project is located on the plains of Ada Liben-Debre Zeit, home to approximately 135,000 residents. Common health problems include tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS. Most adults work as day labourers and earn the equivalent of £11 per month. This community needs school tuition, educational materials and employment opportunities.
Sponsorship allows the staff of the Lemlem Mekane Yesus Student Centre to provide sponsored children with Bible teaching, Sunday school, counselling, health education, hygiene instruction, food, medical check-ups, recreational activities, school supplies, tuition, tutoring, uniforms and vocational training. The centre staff also provide teaching on budget planning and run other activities for the parents or guardians of sponsored children.
Burayou Evangelical Mekane Yesus Child Development Centre, 15 km west of Addis Ababa
This project is located on the plains of Burayou, home to approximately 200,000 residents. Common health problems in this area include pneumonia, intestinal parasites and HIV/AIDS. Most adults in Burayou work as day labourers and earn the equivalent of £15 per month. This community has electricity but needs vocational training, educational supplies, counselling centres, food and clothing.
Sponsorship allows the staff of Burayou Evangelical Mekane Yesus Child Development Centre to provide sponsored children with Bible studies, health screenings, field trips, sports, educational materials, tutoring, clothing, shoes and HIV/AIDS awareness training. The centre staff will also provide opportunities for project participation for the parents or guardians of sponsored children.
Biret Dildy Mulu Wongel Church Child Development Centre, located in Biret Dildy, Addis Ababa
This project is located in the mountainous community of Biret Dildy, home to approximately 40,000 residents. Common health problems in this area include malaria and waterborne diseases. Most adults in Biret Dildy work as day labourers and earn the equivalent of £15 per month. This community has water, electricity, telephone service and health centres but needs educational materials, schools, employment opportunities, recreation centres and income-generating activities.
Sponsorship allows the staff of Biret Dildy Mulu Wongel Church Child Development Centre to provide sponsored children with Bible studies, choir, health education, clothes, supplementary food, health screenings, educational and recreational field trips, environmental protection activities, educational materials, school fees, tutoring and life skills training. The centre staff also arrange meetings and parenting education for the parents or guardians of sponsored children.
Check back in next month to hear how Andrew got on!