A Special Thank You to Families Who Have Visited Faya Orphanage

Vulnerable Children Society would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all Canadian families who have donated to and/or visited Faya Orphanage. Your generosity means that, to date, the children living at Faya Orphanage have not experienced negative fallout from the drought affecting Ethiopia.

According to Faya Orphanage director Meseret Demissie, the donations brought to the orphanage have offset other costs, and enabled the orphanage to afford food for the children in her care.

As a result of the drought, prices in central Ethiopia where Faya operates have skyrocketed, meaning that essential food supplies and medicines have become almost out of reach for many families.

Over the last few years, several dozen Canadian families have visited Faya Orphanage with donations, while families in Canada also continue to sponsor children living there. It is this generous support that has helped safeguard the well-being of children who call Faya Orphanage home.

During this food crisis, it has never been clearer that donations from Canadians make a real and lasting difference in the lives of HIV+ and HIV- children living at Faya Orphanage.

If you are planning to visit Ethiopia or have donations you would like to send to Faya Orphanage, please contact VCS board member Nicole Bellefleur at info@vulnerablechildren.ca for more information.

While the children at Faya are safe, unfortunately many of the community families enrolled in Faya Orphanage’s House 2 House program in Adama, Wonji, Ambo and Guder are feeling the effects of runaway inflation on food prices.

Please stay tuned to Vulnerable Children Society’s blog and Facebook page this week to learn more about the actions we are taking right now to assist vulnerable families living in Ethiopian communities.

Read more:  Drought in Ethiopia Takes its Toll on Families

Written by Vulnerable Children board member Chris Ardern

Drought in Ethiopia takes its toll on Families

The droughts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have hit the headlines across North America, but the story not yet told is how a lack of water can rock an African family to the core.

“It’s not just the physical toll that a drought causes,” states Arnica Rowan, president of the Kelowna-based non-profit Vulnerable Children Society, which supports children and families in Ethiopia. “You see people starving in the news. But a lack of food also challenges people on an emotional and cultural level.”

Currently in central Ethiopia where Vulnerable Children Society operates, there is still food available, but prices have skyrocketed. “I know people who have good, university-educated jobs and are barely putting food, of any kind, on the  table,” recounts Rowan. “Ethiopia has a much wider gap between the rich and poor than Canada does. So you can imagine how the millions of people who live in extreme poverty are doing. Not well.”

The physical impacts of drought and the subsequent food crisis hit children and other vulnerable people the hardest. With food being scarce for many families, proper nutrition is no longer possible. Children show up to school not having eaten and can’t concentrate on their studies.

Not being able to provide for their families is an incredible burden for parents, shares Rowan. Watching their children doing without but being unable to purchase the barest necessities shakes a parent’s sense of ability and worth to the core.

“Because all food stuffs are so expensive, many Ethiopians can’t even uphold their basic cultural practices,” states Rowan. Traditionally in Ethiopia, any expected or unexpected guest is greeted with a coffee ceremony, and then fed with as much food as they can handle. “Coffee now is so expensive that many people can’t afford to do a coffee ceremony for their guests, or even offer basic finger food. That means that the drought also has important social and cultural implications.”

Canadian families have many opportunities to help vulnerable African families. Through Vulnerable Children Society, Canadians can donate funds for food relief in four communities in urban and rural Ethiopia. They can also sponsor an individual family and enable them to survive and thrive.

“We are ensuring a hundred families in Ethiopia are making it through this difficult period, and we can use all the help we can get from Canadians” states Rowan. “We also need more sponsors to support more families though the long term.”

Droughts in Ethiopia – crisis in progress


You may have heard about the droughts in Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia. It’s important to hear what is going on, and how the NGOs and governments are responding.

You may ask what you can do to help people so far away, with such a huge crisis.

We know from reports from our friends and partners in Ethiopia that life is getting harder for everyday working folks, and extremely dire for those living on the edge of poverty.  Thank you for considering donating to those in need.