SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia).

Jimma is the largest town in the southwestern part of the Oromia region. Around 35 million people live in the region, which is one of the most deprived in Ethiopia. Most people live in rural areas, where the poverty rates are improving but not as fast as in urban areas. Children are often hardest hit when families are affected by economic hardship, and political and natural disasters. Many families have been displaced by the political situation; they have been forced to leave their homes and support structures behind. Building a new life in the city of Jimma is often not straightforward.

Since 2012, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Jimma.

Of children live in poverty in the region

Widespread poverty

According to UNICEF, 90% of children in the Oromia region live in poverty, which includes a range of issues such as poor health, lack of education, and unsafe living environments. Large families with many children, especially those who have recently moved to the region, who live in rural areas, are more likely to be deprived. In many cases, they do not have access to safe drinking water, schooling and adequate housing.

Of children in the region attend primary school.

Displaced populations

The provision of health care is improving, but vulnerable families, especially those in rural areas can find it hard to access medical assistance. In light of the difficult economic and social situation, many parents find it hard to care and provide for their families. Children who are most at risk of losing parental care include those with many siblings, those who are internally displaced and those living in poverty. Many families from across Ethniopia have been displaced by the political situation; they have been forced to leave their homes and support structures behind. Currently, 1.7 million people, who have been displaced from different parts of the country, are sheltered in the Oromia region. Building a new life in the city of Jimma is often not straightforward.

Your support makes a difference for children in Jimma

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergarten and school
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Getting ready for school! SOS Children’s Villages works hard so that children can go to school until they become independent (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia).

How your support helps in Jimma

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school..
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.