SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia)

Ethiopia is also known as “The Land of Origins”, and is believed to be the origin of humankind. It’s definitely the origin of the Blue Nile, the longest river in the world. Around 123.4 million people live in Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa, one of the most unstable regions in the world, which is often hit by natural disasters. When 80% of people live off small-scale farms, droughts have a devastating effect on the lives of millions of families. The situation was worst in the regions affected by conflict.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Ethiopia since 1974.

Children are at risk

Children growing up in Ethiopia face many risks. An estimated 12.5 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance to get them through the most recent crises – they need food and medical treatment, they need a safe roof over their heads and they need to go to school to improve their lives. The future rights of children must be protected. Only 3% of children are registered at birth. If children do not have official documentation, they can be denied their rights to healthcare, education and social assistance.
People need food assistance in Ethiopia


Climate change and conflict have affected all areas of Ethiopia. As a result, the number of children (especially those under the age of 5) who are malnourished is increasing in all areas of the country. The number of people affected by the lack of sufficient and nourishing food change from one region to another, but according to the World Food Programme, 20.4 million people are in need of food assistance across the country.

Of children complete primary school


More and more children are starting primary school in Ethiopia, but getting children to stay in school remains a problem. Only 47% of children finish primary school in the country. And just 27% of young people between the ages of 15 and 18 attend secondary school. Girls are more likely to drop out of school than boys are, often due to a getting married early. 40% of young women are married before they turn 18 years of age.

Children need assistance

Conflict and disasters

Conflicts and prolonged natural disasters such as prolonged droughts, famine, and locust infestations take their toll on families. Around 4.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes and start their lives again somewhere else. A grand total of over 29.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. 12.5 million of these are children. Children’s well-being is at risk due to the lack of food and clean drinking water. In such cases, children and adults are at risk of diseases such as cholera.

Together we can make a difference for children in Ethiopia

Grow up in our care
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Medical services
Were possible
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
In Ethiopia, young people plant trees and learn about irrigation and cultivation techniques. They will then pass on this knowledge to their families and communities. “Our aim is to create an awareness that everyone is responsible for the environment and thus for their future and that of future generations,” says the project manager (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and trains parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe, by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting.
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives