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One family’s journey from hunger to hope for a better future

POSTED October 26, 2020

One family’s journey from hunger to hope for a better future

Our country director in Ethiopia shares how Children Believe is supporting the most vulnerable during the pandemic

By Gutu Tesso, country director, Ethiopia

Boy stops colouring to look up and smile

Gazing out the window from his dilapidated rental house in Addis Ababa, Abraham sees beyond the poverty he faces daily. He sees a busy city with highland ranges in the distance and smiles with pride, reflecting on how Children Believe is helping him and his family through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 12-year-old lives with his younger sister and mom, Enat. The 35-year-old single mother — who suffers from fistula, an uncomfortable and life-threatening illness, which causes incontinence and leaking of urine and stool — had trouble keeping her cupboards full before the pandemic made it even harder.

Thankfully Enat is benefiting from free treatment at the Fistula and Alert Hospitals following advice from Children Believe and our local partner. Her recovery will be gradual, so we’ve stepped in to connect Enat with government support, until she’s well enough to benefit from seed money and training on selling prepared food to generate income.

Family of three poses for camera with masks

The immediate support is making a difference. “Starvation, hopelessness and poverty are key challenges faced daily, especially for children from low-income families like me. Without the support of Children Believe we would have ended in misfortune,” Abraham tells me. He adds: “Thanks to Children Believe and its local partner, Alem Children Support Organization, my little sister, mom and me have food, hygiene materials and cash for six consecutive months.”

Enat shared how different her family’s story would have been if she didn’t have Children Believe’s support. “In such conditions, poor families can’t afford enough food to keep children healthy, protected and safe. They end up as roadside beggars, permanent street dwellers, or they’re trafficked for child labour exploitation,” she explains.

Children Believe is committed to keeping more families safe from such a fate. We’re helping the most vulnerable communities help themselves. So far, more than 7,000 children and adults have received food rations and hygiene kits, while nearly 170,000 people learned how to keep safe from COVID-19.

To learn more about our work in Ethiopia, visit

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

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