Reaching Out to Street Children in Ethiopia

Nov 28, 2012

This Christmas, Help a Child in Ethiopia

A Street Boy In Addis Ababa
A Street Boy In Addis Ababa

Are you trying to decide what to get your loved ones for Christmas this year?  GlobalGiving is making it easy for you to give an alternative gift to everyone on your list.  

When you make a donation to one of our projects on behalf of a loved one via GlobalGiving, your loved one will receive a personalized card letting them know that they’re helping street children in Africa.  Click here to give a GlobalGiving Tribute Card.

Your gift will help change the lives of some of the most vulnerable children on Earth, like 13-year-old Biruk, who comes from southern Ethiopia. His mother died while giving birth to him, and he lived with his father, stepmother and step-siblings. A severe alcoholic, Biruk's father abused him and would not allow him to eat. Biruk left home and lived with his grandmother for awhile, but this was also very difficult, as she was very old and had no income.

Because of economic hardship and peer pressure, he decided to come to Addis Ababa to work, but the situation was different than he expected and life was very difficult. He stayed on the street for one year, where he suffered from hunger and lack of shelter, occasionally earning some money by carrying luggage at the bus station. 

Biruk's friends on the street told him about Retrak.  He entered our program and received food, shelter, clothes, education, life skills, medical care and counseling services. Biruk said that “Now Retrak changed me to have good behavior. Retrak also protects me so that I am not bullied by other children. If Retrak did not allow me to join the program I might be lost or dead”.

After he stayed with Retrak for four months, Biruk decided that he wanted to reintegrate with his grandmother. When Biruk arrived home, his grandmother welcomed him with many tears and gave glory to God.  She said that her daughter (Biruk’s mother) has risen from death because Biruk is still alive. Retrak staff talked with his grandmother and his uncle about parenting skills and how to earn money and keep savings, and then Retrak provided an income-generating grant.  With the grant, Biruk's grandmother decided to buy two goats and shoe shining materials with which she and Biruk could work. She thanks Retrak for protecting her grandson and the family. 

Thank you so much for your support of Retrak, which enables us to help children like Biruk. To give your holiday gift through GlobalGiving, just go to the project page and select “Gift or In Honor Of” under the large orange donate button.

Have a wonderful holiday season!



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Retrak America

Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, United Kingdom

Project Leader

Joan Townsend

US Country Director
Washington, DC United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Reaching Out to Street Children in Ethiopia