Although Ethiopia now has the largest economy in east Africa and
has one of the fastest growing economies in the world it cannot
escape the legacy of its recent past of conflict and famine, and
the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Ethiopia today 13% of
all children are missing one or both parents, representing 4
million children, nearly 650,000 of them being orphaned by
estimated that a further 200,000 children are becoming orphans
in Ethiopia every year not helped
by the fact that there are 676 maternal deaths for every
100,000 births with only 10% of all births taking
place in proper medical facilities mainly due to cultural beliefs and the fact
that many simply can't travel the distances required.
Like in many western countries, the extended
family has been seen as the safety net for these Ethiopian
orphans, but, unlike in the west, when the extended family is
not there to provide care, there is very little available from
the government to meet the shortfall.
As such, many of these children end up on the streets.
children forgo basic rights such as access to education, care
support and availability of food. Instead they have to work to
provide for themselves and in doing so are vulnerable to
exploitation, including sexual exploitation.
sobering fact that in Addis Ababa
alone, over 30% of girls aged ten to fourteen are not living
with their parents, many taking up domestic roles with other
families receiving poor pay and little or no help with their
The plight of orphans in Ethiopia is also
cyclical, cascading down future generations. Lack of education,
understanding of family life and poor knowledge of the
prevention of AIDS/HIV means that these children's children are
likely to become equally disadvantaged from birth.
a population of 78 million 4 million are Ethiopian orphans, many
living in Ethiopian orphanages or as street children hoping that
someday someone will care.
This video documentary explores the situation of Ethiopian
children and some of the projects underway to meet their needs.