|   Posted: August 11, 2021   |   Updated: December 01, 2021


The northern region of Ethiopia has been wrought with upheaval since November 2020. To support our frontline church partners to focus on the specific needs of children, youth, and families caused by the conflict, we have encouraged flexibility in how the Compassion program is being delivered. Church partners are continuing to implement child development programming but are able to adjust as needed to prioritize the safety and well-being of staff, volunteers, children, youth, and their families. As the conflict in Ethiopia has developed, some areas of the country have become inaccessible to Compassion owing to the shutdown of communications, transport, and banking. In these areas, this has forced us to suspend our partnerships with frontline church partners. Our hope and prayer is to resume the relationship with our frontline church partners and serve the children and families as soon as possible. Sponsors with children affected by suspended operations have been notified.

As we respond to this conflict, Compassion has made the difficult decision to temporarily pause delivery of letters and gifts to and from Ethiopia. This pause allows our church partners and staff to focus on the direct needs of children, families, and their communities during this difficult time. We’re so grateful for your faithfulness in standing alongside our staff and church partners in Ethiopia at this time. If you have already sent a letter or gift, we will do our best to deliver it, but because of the conflict, we cannot guarantee its delivery at this time. You may continue writing your sponsored child(ren) and sending letters, but please know they will be held for the time being until we are able to deliver again. If you wish to send a gift to your sponsored child, their family, or their Child Development Center at this time, please consider donating to our Disaster Relief Fund, as those funds can be used directly to provide aid to those in need during times of conflict and disaster.

Should I continue to give my monthly donation or write letters to my child?

For children living in inaccessible conflict areas:
We’re so grateful for your faithfulness in continuing to send sponsorship donations. Although we’re not able to distribute funds in this area at this time, your donations will be safely held in a special account at Compassion’s global headquarters. Once the suspension is removed, the held funds will be distributed to your sponsored child’s development center. You can continue to send letters if you would like, but please be aware that letters will be held for delivery until we are able to reestablish communication with our frontline church partners in the affected areas. Sponsors with children affected by suspended operations have been notified.

For children living in areas of Ethiopia still accessible to Compassion:
We ask that you do not mention the conflict in your letters. The circumstances are extremely sensitive and discussing the nature of the political conflict may put children or families at risk.

However, if your sponsored child does speak about the conflict in their letters, here are some suggestions to help you respond:

  • While you may acknowledge the situation is challenging, please refrain from commenting on the nature and details of the conflict and be sure not to criticize any of the parties involved in the conflict.
  • Be sensitive and gentle as you write. Think carefully about all your words.
  • Encourage. Let them know that although you don't exactly know what they're going through, you're thinking of them. Encouraging words and Bible verses remind them that they’re not alone — and that you’re thinking of and praying for them often.
  • Pray. Let them know that you’re regularly praying for the situation they shared with you. Tell them that you're praying for their family members by name (if you know them).

We also ask for your patience as some letters may be delayed during this time. However, please do continue to write. Your letters are treasured, and your encouragement is hugely valuable.