Stand By Me

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Famine, HIV/Aids and extreme poverty have resulted in millions of orphans and a life of hardship for the majority of its population. Nearly one million children are orphaned as a result of HIV/Aids. A lack of investment in education and a high dependency on child labour has left five million children without access to an education. Educational opportunities for girls are lower than boys as they are expected to do domestic work or marry at an early age.

2006

We adopted the Bethany School in the town of Bekoji where 220 students were crammed into two mud classrooms with no resources

2007

We met orphaned and abandoned children in Bekoji who were living on the streets, so we established a loving family home with adoptive parents

2009

New land was acquired for the Bethany School to build a school campus. Today the school offers 450 children a free education, meals and health care

2009

We met Fekadu. He'd been discarded by his family because of HIV. We wanted to give him the loving care he deserved but sadly we were too late to save his life

2010

We started a medical programme, to help kids and parents to receive treatment. Over 60 UK medical professionals have visited to enhance the health of our children

2010

Established a HIV Food Programme providing children and carers with food supplies and counselling, giving them dignity and helping them to fight infection

2011

We built the Bekoji Children’s Home to provide a loving family environment for orphaned and abandoned children in Bekoji

2013

The Abdi Academy in Dembi Dollo, opened for 240 children providing education, family support, medical care, and nutritious meals. In time, 500 children will attend

2014

We began giving small business grants to the carers of our poorest children to help them earn an income, become self-sufficient and not depend on child labour

2015

Our first students at the Bethany School graduated and are on their way to university! We hope that many more children will follow in their footsteps

2015

On the 1st of October our Bethany School opened the Bekoji computer lab, funded and equipped by Financial Software Limited (FSL)

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Uka was still growing in her mother’s womb when she was abandoned by her father. 

Shortly after Uka was born her mother discovered that both her and Uka were infected with HIV and she too abandoned Uka leaving her in the care of her grandmother.

Selling wool at the market did not provide sufficient food for Uka and her grandma to survive so we chose to ‘stand by’ them with monthly food and HIV medication. Our care made sure that Uka and her grandma could stay together as family. Uka is now healthy and attending the Bethany School, where she is receiving a good education and has grown from being a shy girl to being confident and cheeky.

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Grace was handed to us in a bundle of rags by a policewoman. But her name wasn’t Grace then, in fact, she didn’t have a name at all. 

At just three weeks old she had been abandoned by the roadside. No one wanted her and she was going to be put back where she was found.

But we couldn’t let that happen. So we adopted her and named her Grace. We gave her a comfortable home and a loving family in Jane’s Home at our Bekoji Children’s Village and today Grace is chatty, funny and a little bit bossy. Grace is loved, cared for and is full of life.

Play the video 3min 20sec
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When Sena was born with a leg deformity, her mother couldn’t cope and abandoned the family. To care for Sena her father would carry her everywhere he went, even to work.

We gave Sena not just a quality education at our Abdi Academy in Dembi Dollo but also nutritious meals, medical care and crutches which she soon learnt to speed around on. But we wanted more for Sena and after appointments with medical experts she had an operation and has been fitted with a prosthetic leg. Now her smile is wide as she gets to wear matching shoes on both feet, once just a dream. We love seeing her confidence grow and grow as she walks around school.

Play the video 1min 38sec
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Abdi lives with his parents. Both him and his mother are living with HIV and take medicine to control the virus. 

Abdi’s father’s job as a shoe shiner pays so little that they can’t afford adequate food or to pay the rent for their small mud house.

Now a student at our school, Abdi and his family receive monthly packages of nutritious food to keep them healthy and we help them pay their rent so that the family can be secure together. To help them stand on their own feet, we’ve given Abdi’s mother a small business grant to sell vegetables, providing a steady income which will in time allow them to support themselves.

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Meaza and her two elder sisters were moved from relative to relative after their parents passed away from HIV/AIDS, no one wanted to care for them.

Before we brought them to our Bekoji’s Children’s Home we found them wandering the streets of Bekoji, fighting dogs for scraps of food.

At our home they have food, warm beds and loving care. With new brothers and sisters and a second chance at a happy and stable childhood they get to attend our school for a great education. The three girls are growing in confidence and self-worth and Meaza is the comedian of the home and loves to sing and dance.

If you don’t think you’d write to your child at least once per year, we’d love you to consider becoming a regular giver instead
Stand by... almost there...