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You are making a difference in Ethiopia!

A glimpse of what your sponsored child’s life is like in Ethiopia:


  • The family structure is much larger than a typical nuclear family. The oldest male is head of the household. Women are responsible for the children and home, which often houses four generations, as children are socially required to care for their parents.
  • Traditional homes are round dwellings constructed of “wattle” and “daub” (interwoven sticks covered with mud). Roofs are made out of thatch. In wealthier urban areas, homes may be multi-story residences made of concrete and tile.
  • A spongy unleavened bread called “injera” is a popular staple for meals. It is often dipped into stews made of carrots, cabbage, potatoes, and lentils.


  • Children in urban areas start attending school around the age of 5.
  • In rural areas, there are fewer schools. Children are often expected to do farm work, resulting in a very low percentage of attendance at any age in rural areas.
  • University is free, but admission is very competitive and only about 20% of students who take admissions tests are accepted.


  • There are 86 known indigenous languages in Ethiopia, and 82 are still spoken.
  • Many churches in the northern areas are carved out of rock and have been actively used for centuries.
  • Music in Ethiopia is as distinctive and diverse as the country’s many ethnic groups. Ethiopian music is most known for its pentatonic style and use of string instruments, flutes, and hand drums.


Ethiopia is a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley. It shares a border with Eritrea to the north and northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. It is the most populous landlocked country in the world, as well as the second-most populous nation on the African continent, after Nigeria. It is well-known for its production of coffee.

  • Capital: Addis Ababa
  • Population: ‎108,386,391
  • Languages: Amarigna, Oromigna, Tigrigna, English, and Arabic


In 1984, Food for the Hungry (FH) began working in response to the famine in Ethiopia, which grew into large-scale food relief, rehabilitation, and long-term food security. Since then, FH has focused efforts on community development to improve living conditions, prepare for harsh environmental factors such as droughts, and assist in improved agricultural techniques. Additionally, Ethiopia has areas that are classified as “sensitive,” where traditional evangelism is ineffective or even illegal. FH still strives to share the love of God in a culturally appropriate way.


  • You are improving food security and livelihoods through seed distributions, livelihood groups, creation of networks for farmers to support each other, irrigation projects, and agricultural conservation efforts.
  • You are improving the health and nutrition of children, pregnant and lactating mothers, and young women through health training and care-group lessons.
  • You are teaching children about hygiene, sanitation, the importance of education, and income generation through extracurricular activities like sports and children’s clubs.

You are about to embark on a new FH Donor Experience

If you need assistance, please contact us at donorhelp@fh.org or 866-307-3259.

Gift Policy:
You may send small, flat paper-based items that can fit into a standard #10 size envelope, have a value of less than $5 dollars and weigh less than 4 ounces. We ask that you send small, flat items of this size because shipping is expensive and even small gift items can cause issues clearing customs.
You can send postcards or photographs, however, we ask that you visit here for more details about culturally appropriate guidelines for photos and other images. Please write the child’s ID # on the back of each item that you enclose with your letter to ensure that it reaches him/her.
Best gifts to send your sponsored child:
  • Paper dolls
  • Postcards
  • Pictures of yourself or family
  • Sports cards, individual cards (baseball, soccer, football)
  • Stickers (flat, paper-based, only a few at a time)
  • Paper-based simple bookmarks, stationery, drawing, or writing paper (single sheets)
  • Coloring pages (single sheets, not books)
  • Please do NOT send:
  • Monetary gifts
  • Liquids, candy, or food
  • Batteries or magnets
Please note, all items should be compliant with airline transport and safety regulations. Gifts that don’t meet the gift policy will be donated to a local Christian non-profit organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that works with low-income families. We will not be able to return them.