World In Need provides practical mission in twelve countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East; running child support programmes and community projects. WIN gives hands-on help to families in the most desperate circumstances. The WIN Ethiopia project reaches out to orphans and children from poverty-stricken families in Addis Ababa, where around 80% of the population are in slums. Families live in one room, often without clean water and a toilet. WIN strives to give children access to education, nutritious food and medical care.
The story of 20 year old Selam shows how lives can be turned around through the WIN child sponsorship programme.
“I live with my mother and two siblings. When I was seven years old my father was diagnosed with late stage diabetes. My mother was responsible to provide for the family and take care of my sick father without any help. After two years he lost his life. Rent, schooling, feeding, and helping us grow in our faith was all expected from my mom, and there were times it was hard for her even to feed us. It was dark days for my family.
At this critical time I was a first grade student and remember my mom’s prayers and tears crying out for help. The WIN programme came to our rescue. My mom got help to send me to school and even provided food items and detergents. In addition to that, twice a year I got a full medical check-up and treatment whenever needed.
This support changed the burden on my mom; my school fees, school materials, and tutorial costs were all covered. In addition, we had a bible study time that helped me grow in my faith in Jesus. This whole rounded support brought a light and joy to my family. Gradually we start to heal from our pain and deep poverty through prayer and active support.
I’m now a first year medical laboratory student in a private college called Africa Medical College. I chose this field to reach my academic goal so that I could move forward to my call which is helping psychologically challenged and mentally ill people. It is my prayer and deep wish to study further clinical psychology.
The pandemic brought more challenges as lockdown means my mother stays home and loses her income, but provision at this time from WIN's programme, of support of food and necessities has stopped the return of the dark days of my childhood.”
This powerful witness of hope in the slums of Addis Ababa is bringing more people to faith. Bible study groups attract increasing numbers of members, and eight young people now meet together independently as they respond to the message of the gospel. So much more can be achieved through involvement in practical support and prayer.
In the last seven years the number of children WIN has been able to support in Addis Ababa has risen to over 40, although many more are in urgent need. Ethiopia’s level of community transmission of Covid is rising, particularly in Addis Ababa, in living circumstances where it’s almost impossible to slow the spread, so the need for help is greater than ever.
The WIN programmes reach out further than the children, bringing benefits to the whole family. With food parcels delivered, medical care made available to the family and an empowerment programme for mothers, it means that vulnerable women can begin their own businesses and restore their dignity. One single mother with five children now runs a small laundry business, giving her the chance to provide for her family.
Growth in funding will have an immediate and direct effect on the number of children that can be helped. The programme also needs prayer for the provision of more workers, and for the hearts of those it reaches to be open to the message of hope they bring.
To help support WIN's work in Ethiopia you can choose to support our Feeding Programme, or make a donation direct for this country on our Donation page. To sponsor a child in Ethiopia and help lift their family out of poverty, please visit our Child Sponsorship page.