Map of Ethiopia

Transforming Lives

Nurse aids who work at Hamlin Fistula Center in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

In 1988, Mesaye*, a 15-year-old girl from North Gondor, Ethiopia, began to have contractions and knew that the birth of her first child was near. Unfortunately, like so many other young mothers whose bodies have not matured enough to safely give birth, Mesaye experienced an excruciating four days of labor that ended in a stillbirth.

Nefisa and her husband with their 2-week-old daughter.

Five years ago, Nefisa Hassen, a 24-year-old farmer from Ethiopia, had her first child at home. The labor and birth were prolonged and difficult. She prayed that, when her time came to deliver, she wouldn’t have complications forcing her to go to the health center. She could not handle the pity of her neighbors if she was unable to have a normal birth, and she wasn’t certain her husband could cover the cost of transportation to the facility.

Ethiopia Clean Water

You are thirsty. Now imagine walking six hours round trip, only to reach dirty water at your destination. That’s what Semegn Mikir did every day just to acquire water for her family in Ethiopia. Mikir is the mother of a 2-year-old daughter and lives in the rural Lay Gayint district in Taria Georgies village.

Marimaro Youth Group benefiting from area closures

July 2014—Rather than pursue a risky migration abroad, or simply become resigned to a life of extreme poverty, landless youth in a chronically food insecure district in Ethiopia are staying in their families’ villages, while also earning an income. How?

Four-year-old Bahiru in his new wheelchair.

In Ethiopia, 7.37 million people living with disabilities face challenges related to discrimination, exclusion from mainstream society, and extreme poverty. In addition, the physical environment is hostile to people with disabilities, including inaccessible roads and few sidewalks anywhere in the city, ill-equipped transportation, schools, housing, workplaces and public facilities.

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Last updated: August 15, 2016

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