With its population of over 100 million inhabitants, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world. Bordering six countries in a politically volatile region, Ethiopia is the second largest host of refugees in Africa, having welcomed thousands of people from South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea. 48% of the population is under 15 years old, and more than 77 children in 1,000 are malnourished. Although most children enrol in school, many do not complete their education. The country is prone to prolonged and multiple climate-induced and conflict-related emergencies that directly impact children’s access to education.
The armed conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia which started almost a year ago shows no sign of abating, having now spread into neighbouring Afar and Amhara with calamitous humanitarian, political and economic consequences. Tigray continues to be cut off from electricity and communications and millions of people have no access to essential services, including healthcare. The toll on the population has been devastating with more than 2 million people displaced and millions more in need of emergency support, food, water, shelter and healthcare. This tragic situation has been further compounded by flooding, locust infestation and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN reveals that at least 400,000 people are living in famine-like conditions, 100,000 children are at risk of severe malnutrition, and countless thousands have already died. The humanitarian aid response is being severely hampered by insecurity, delays and restrictions.
The Ethiopian Catholic Church, which has always preached the gospel of peace, has played a key role in the peace and reconciliation process in Ethiopia, as well as in mobilising humanitarian aid to that region, in conjunction with its western partners.
Why we need your help
This is a major humanitarian crisis and many lives are at risk unless aid reaches those in need urgently. FACE, in partnership with its sister agency Œuvre d’Orient, is working closely with our local church partners to provide all possible help in this vital mission which is now more crucial than ever. Your prayers and support will make a huge difference to the lives of countless families.
Your donation will help the following projects:
Catholic Eparchy of Bahir-Dar-Dessie (Benishangul-Gumuz).
The Eparchy is working with local parishes and communities to provide emergency aid to more than 3,000 displaced people from the town of Metekel, many of whom are malnourished infants and children. These people had to flee their homes leaving all their possessions behind. Disease is quickly spreading among young children due to lack of food, poor hygiene, lack of sanitation facilities and safe drinking water. Priests and religious on the ground are providing pastoral and practical support but they urgently need food, blankets, toiletries, medication and fresh water supplies.
Hananeyta Kindergarten run by the Daughters of Charity.
The Daughters of Charity have been providing education, health and social care to impoverished communities in Ethiopia since 1927. They run five health care clinics, an eye clinic and education facilities ranging from crèches and kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, to a third level Montessori Teacher Training Institute. The Hananeyta Kindergarten is the only kindergarten in the remote town of Alitena, attended by 150 children of impoverished rural families of all faiths and none. Many of the children are malnourished as a result of the food shortages and the Sisters are desperately appealing for support to provide one hot meal a day for every child for a period of 10 months.
Shashamane School for the Blind, run by the Franciscan Sisters of St Mary of the Angels.
The Sisters’ ministry in Ethiopia includes education and healthcare, especially of differently abled children and the elderly. Founded in 1981, the school currently has 100 blind and partially sighted students from all religious backgrounds aged 7 to 18, whose impairments result from a variety of problems – some of which are preventable – such as smallpox, measles, vitamin A deficiency, malnutrition or glaucoma. The Sisters not only provide education – teaching the children Braille and essential life skills – they also provide regular medical and ophthalmological check-ups and treatments. Children’s tuition expenses are covered through to sixth grade and full or partial support is also provided to those in higher education. Urgent funding is needed for new Braille equipment, music lessons, medical care and eye operations, and to cover the costs of rent and building maintenance.
Scholarship Programme at the Lideta Catholic Cathedral School.
The Lideta Catholic Cathedral School in Addis Ababa provides primary and secondary education to 1,440 children. It is one of the most important schools in the country, with graduating students moving into a variety of fields including, medicine and engineering. More than 600 doctors in Ethiopia have graduated from LCCS. Founded in 1954 to provide education to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, the school runs a scholarship programme for children from the poorest families who would otherwise be unable to access a good education. FACE and Œuvre d’Orient are supporting the scholarship programme to ensure that vulnerable children from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to continue their schooling. Urgent scholarship support is needed to cover the tuition fees for 184 children from low-income families.
St Joseph’s Mission Hostel run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.
The Sisters’ ministry in Ethiopia has expanded rapidly since their arrival in 1927 and there are now 14 local community houses directed by 61 sisters, serving hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged people across five regional states and seven dioceses. Inspired by the values of the Gospel, the Sisters’ ministry includes education, health care, support programmes for youth, women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and with HIV/AIDs, prison ministry, housing support for the homeless and refugees, prevention of human trafficking and pastoral support. The Sisters desperately need funding to support 55 students from low-income families aged between 8 and 18 living at St Joseph’s Mission Hostel, to cover the costs of tuition, uniforms, books, school material, meals, medical assistance and transport.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Soddo:
- Bucama Nursery School run by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Nôtre-Dame. The Apostolic Vicariate of Soddo serves more than 200,000 Catholics across 36 parishes and 5 missions. The Sisters urgently need funding to buy school materials, books, medication and toiletries for 165 infants of all faiths and none.
- Meals for 1,360 children in eight nursery schools for 4 months. Urgent support is needed to provide meals for four months for 1,360 children of all faiths and none attending 8 nursery schools in the Vicariate. In 2018, our sister agency, Œuvre d’Orient, provided 13.5 kg of energy biscuits to children from impoverished families and funding for school meals. For most of these children, the school meal is the only balanced meal of the day.
Give to FACE
Your donation will enable us, through our partnerships on the ground, to deliver quick and effective support to local communities across Ethiopia.
Your contribution will make a huge difference to many lives.
You will bring a message of love, solidarity and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia.
Now more than ever they need our support.