In Ethiopia’s Oromia Region
Geography & Climate
One of Ethiopia’s nine ethnically based regions, Oromia stretches in an arc from the country’s western border to the southwestern corner. It is Ethiopia’s largest state in area, and with 27 million people, it is also the largest in population.
More than 90 percent of people in the Oromia region live in the rural areas and work as small-scale farmers.
Coffee is the main cash crop in this region, which produces at least half of all coffee grown in Ethiopia.
Children at Home
Homes of the Oromia region’s rural families are simple, sparsely furnished wooden buildings.
To reduce traveling distance, homes are generally scattered across the countryside to be near farm plots.
Roofs are mostly thatched, but rural households are increasingly opting for corrugated-metal coverings.
Few homes have access to electricity, and nearly 40 percent have no toilet facilities. Access to safe water is also a widespread problem.
Issues and Concerns
- A lack of access to clean, abundant water in the countryside is a primary concern.
- While more than 90 percent of the region’s urban dwellers have ready access to safe water, less than one-quarter of those in the countryside have the same advantage.
- Nearly 20 percent of the region’s adults are unable to find work. Many more face underemployment and aren’t able to meet their children’s most basic needs.
- Health care resources are lacking. The ratio of health professionals and facilities to the number of people is low.
Local Needs and Challenges
Regionwide, only 55 percent of males and 36 percent of females older than 10 can read and write.
Many children drop out of school to work.
Early marriage and teen pregnancy
About 13 percent of girls ages 15 to 19 have already had their first child.
Schools and Education
- The education situation in the Oromia region has greatly improved over the past 15 years.
- Children have the opportunity to acquire not only a formal education but also to attend vocational schools.
- Nearly all primary-age children now attend school, and the enrollment rate for secondary education has increased from about 6 percent to nearly 40 percent.
Compassion Ethiopia works to ensure that every registered child is able to attend school, and it provides additional support, including tutoring, at the child development centers.
At the Compassion Child Development Center
Church-based Compassion child development centers provide assisted children in Ethiopia’s Oromia region with the resources and learning opportunities they need to overcome poverty.
Medical attention, extra nutrition, academic tutoring and vocational training help ensure that they will grow into healthy, happy, responsible adults.
Most important, the children have the opportunity to learn about the love of God and gift of salvation in Christ.
What Compassion Sponsorship Provides
In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing real help and hope to children in need in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, providing:
- regular nutritious meals and snacks
- health checkups and medical care as needed
- the support needed to attend school
- the resources and learning activities children need for healthy development in all areas of life
- spiritual nurture and teaching in biblical morals so that children will develop the ability to say “no” to bad influences and even counsel those who are on the wrong track
- caregiver training on Bible-based parenting and child protection, which is making a huge impact on the attention and love they show to their children.