An interview with Zerihun Gultie, country director of Holt Ethiopia, about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting children and families in Ethiopia — and how sponsors and donors are meeting their most urgent needs.
How is the pandemic affecting children and families in Ethiopia?
COVID-19 has been affecting all of us. … March-May was terrifying because we knew that the infrastructure in this country isn’t able to cope with a pandemic like this …Travel was banned to the field. Public gatherings were also restricted. Schools were closed. And the economy was partially shut down. So this has been affecting the socioeconomic livelihood of communities, especially in the places where we work. … People who used to get food from the market were not able to get food. It has affected everyone, especially the poor and those who are living in the rural settings. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Ethiopia: How the Pandemic is Affecting Children in Sponsorship”
Liya* is hungry. But she’s more than just hungry – she’s wasting away. She needs consistent food now. She may not make it much longer. Liya’s parents didn’t have enough food for her. And this caused her to get sick. Which caused her to become more and more malnourished. It’s a vicious cycle. She needs emergency food and medical care.
Liya is just one of thousands of young children in Ethiopia who is malnourished and needs help.
All around the world this year, school will look different due to COVID-19. But whether children are physically in a classroom, or learning from home, your gifts will help children continue to learn and stay safe from early marriage and forced labor during this time of global crisis. Here are the current back-to-school plans in each of the countries where Holt kids live!
Whether a child is the daughter of migrant workers in India, lives near the Red Stone garbage dump in Mongolia, or has Down syndrome in Vietnam, education is vital to helping every child overcome poverty and reach their potential in life. It is also a cornerstone to the help that you provide through Holt.
But what about this year? What does back-to-school look like during a global pandemic?
From giving emergency food, water and medical supplies to supporting tele-counseling and more, you are doing amazing things to help children and families during this global health crisis. Here are the latest updates from the field.
Over the past few months, we’ve received lots of questions from you about how the coronavirus crisis is affecting children and families you help around the world.
In many ways, their lives may look similar to yours right now: children are home from school, parents are out of work or trying to find ways to work from home, they’re staying home — or wearing a mask when they have to go out in public. Parents and Holt staff in the field are teaching and reminding kids to “Wash your hands!” and “Don’t touch your face!”
But for children without families and families in poverty — the children and families you support — the effects of this coronavirus pandemic could have been devastating.
While the crisis is still ongoing and children and families will continue to face needs in the weeks and months to come, right now we want to share some good news…
Because of you, to date, our staff tell us that not one child in our programs has gotten sick from the coronavirus. Children who were hungry now have food. Families in crisis are getting the help they need!
Here are just some of the amazing updates on children and families you’ve helped since this crisis began:
Every year on June 1, the International Day of the Child, Holt sponsors and donors help throw a massive party for children in our programs around the world! For children who have so little — children living in poverty with their families or in orphanages or foster homes without a family of their own — your generous gifts create a day of abundance, laughter, silliness and fun.
Just look at the smiles on the faces of these kids at last year’s parties… YOU made this happen. You have a beautiful heart, and we’re so grateful for you.
The moms in our programs are some of the strongest, hardest-working, most loving and committed women we know. This Mother’s Day, let’s honor moms around the world and the amazing way they fight to give their children a better future.
Here are just some of the amazing moms we want to honor this month!
Before a sponsor starting supporting her, Mekdes wasn’t sure if she could even stay in school in her rural community of Ethiopia — much less follow her dream of becoming a doctor.
Eighteen-year-old Mekdes dreams of becoming a doctor one day. Today, she is close to realizing her dream. Ten years ago, however, Mekdes’ future seemed uncertain.
Though bright and driven, Mekdes faced overwhelming challenges, and her family’s economic status seemed to dictate another path entirely — a path not nearly as bright, and certainty not one that would lead to a medical profession, or even an education.
Imagine your sponsored child receiving her first school uniform or the news that he can attend school on a one-year scholarship. Imagine the opportunities that an education will provide her, knowing that going to school helps prevent gender-based violence and discrimination.
Sponsorship — and your commitment to your sponsored child — empowers boys and girls around the world to overcome poverty and achieve their dreams.
At a preschool in Cambodia’s impoverished Kampot province, a sponsored girl leans on her desk. In many rural areas of Cambodia, children do not have access to a preschool education, resulting in delayed social, language and academic development. But in Kampot, children now attend one of five sponsor-supported preschools where they have a safe space to eat snacks, learn skills and prepare for life-long success in school. Students like this young girl can now pursue their dreams by receiving an early education. Continue reading “Bringing Education To Their World”
When her husband became ill, Dinknesh suddenly had to provide for her family on her own. She didn’t know where to begin, and her family quickly fell into poverty. Then sponsors and donors came together to empower Dinknesh, giving her two of the most powerful Gifts of Hope — confidence, and a cow.
Like many women in rural Ethiopia, Dinknesh had a more traditional role in her family before her husband fell sick. She worked incredibly hard to maintain her home and care for her two sons while her husband, a farmer, worked the fields to bring in an income and meet the basic needs of their family.
But when he became ill, he could not work and was bedridden for months.
Suddenly, Dinknesh had to provide for her children on her own.
Ten years ago, Holt sponsors began supporting children and families in the impoverished community of Shinshicho — a district capital in southern Ethiopia where goats and cattle still roam the unpaved roads that lead through town, few homes or businesses have electricity or running water, and donkeys are the primary mode of transportation.
Here, as throughout Ethiopia, years of civil war and drought have robbed many families of their livelihoods, while famine and illness have robbed many children of their parents. Most families in rural Ethiopia subsist on what they can grow on small plots of land, which is often just barely enough to feed their families. But in 2008, when Holt began working alongside local leaders and community elders, life began to change for many children and families in Shinshicho. Continue reading “It Takes a Village: Holt Sponsors Change Lives in Ethiopia”