An image of Ethiopia Where Ethiopia is in the world.

Ethiopia is in the Horn of Africa. Take a look at it on the map. Can you see why it’s called the Horn of Africa? Ethiopia is surrounded by lots of countries: Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya and South Sudan all border it.

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Addis Ababa

Compassion's work in Ethiopia began in 1993.


There are 90 languages, but Amharic is the official one. Here's some basic Amharic:

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Egziabeher Yimesgen, Dehena Negne

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The Ethiopian Wolf

They are the only wolf species in Africa and are under threat of extinction.

Traditional houses are round and made of wooden strips covered with a sticky combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw. The roofs are made of thatch.

Living conditions

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93.8 million

Over 89,874 Ethiopian children are sponsored through Compassion.

Ethiopia has been famous for pictures of children with bloated bellies and men and women reduced to skin and bone from terrible droughts and famine over the years.

The country relies on farming to make money, so regular droughts and famine have left it poor. The changing climate is making these weather extremes worse.

For the average Ethiopian, life is a daily struggle. Many babies and young children die as they don’t have access to basic healthcare.

Lots of people suffer from HIV/AIDS and children have been left without parents to care for them when their mums and dads have died from the disease. These children often end up looking after their younger brothers and sisters and the family is known as a child-headed household.

Only a third of children go to school and many children are made to work from an early age to support their families.

These children are really vulnerable and need our help. Compassion works to take care of them through many church projects throughout Ethiopia.

Some of the Ethiopian children in Compassion projects want to show you around. Flick through the photo story to meet them.

A busy street in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia faced terrible drought, famine and war leaving millions of people without food during the 1970s and 1980s

Crowds of people in the streets of Jimma. For the average Ethiopian, life is a daily struggle. Most people are not able to see a doctor or go to hospital if they’re ill.

Droughts and famine seem to be getting worse as the climate is changing.

Even though Ethiopia has become richer lately, poverty and hunger are still common in Ethiopia.

A family shares injera, flat bread that is the staple diet for many who are struggling to survive the repeated droughts and natural disasters.

Tariku gets drinking water from the community water source. Access to safe drinking water has got better for many people in Ethiopia over the past years.

HIV/AIDS killed many people, leaving many children without parents to care for them.

Compassion projects are safe places where children can leave behind their worries and enjoy being children.

At the Compassion projects the children are cared for safe from the dangers that many face.

Less than half of Ethiopia’s population can read and write. Compassion projects give children an education, so they can get a good job and no longer be poor.

The children at Gotera Kale Hiwot Church Student Centre line up to wash their hands before a meal.

Mahlet Adnew sits on her bed reading some of the letters she received from her sponsor.

At the Compassion projects each child is given the opportunity to hear about God.

It’s wonderful to see children who have been born into poor families given hope of a better future!

Please pray for the children in Ethiopia, that they will manage to help change the country, so that people are not poor anymore.

Pray for the children in Compassion projects, that they will lead the way in changing their country.

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Many years ago before today's birr, salt was used as currency in Ethiopia.

There are 390 Compassion child development centres throughout Ethiopia.

How can you encourage your sponsored child?

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Why not write to them and mention some of the facts you’ve found here. Ask them questions about what it’s like to live in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian bread known as injera is a really popular food throughout Ethiopia. It’s flat and spongy, a bit like a pancake. Try making some:

Recipe: Injera

Ethiopian bread

Injera Ingredients (adult help needed)
  • 1 cup of pancake mix
  • ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 cup of club soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  1. Combine the pancake mix, all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the egg and club soda and stir.
  3. Melt about half of the butter in a frying pan until bubbly. Pour in about two tablespoons of batter and cook for two minutes on each side until the bread is golden brown on both sides.
  4. Remove the bread from the pan carefully and place it on a plate.
  5. Repeat, using the rest of the butter and stacking the finished bread on the plate to cool.

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Ethiopia is second only to China for the number of donkeys they have.

What did the wolf say when someone stepped on his foot?

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Information sources: The CIA World Fact Book 2011, Compassion International, Human Development Report, BBC, BBC Nature, Wikipedia