Ethiopia has one of the largest populations of orphans in the world. According to UNICEF, 4.6 million children in Ethiopia have lost one or both parents — 13 percent of the total child population. About 800,000 of those children lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS.
4.6 million orphans is double the population of Houston, Texas. It is more than five times the population of San Francisco.
Bridge of Hope Children’s village
World’s Children has a partnership with Bridge of Hope in Gondar, Ethiopia to provide support through our sponsorship program. There are 80 children living at the Bridge of Hope Children’s Village. Most of them are orphans affected in some way by HIV/AIDS.
Bridge of Hope has two residential buildings, one for boys and one for girls. Each building has four apartments; housing 18-20 kids per unit. Within each apartment there are three bedrooms: two for the children and one for the house mother.
The kids sleep in bunk beds, nine or ten kids to a room. The house mother is a single woman who lives full-time in the apartment. Often she is widowed.
Every apartment has a living room with a large dining table where all the children eat together.
Education is a high priority at Bridge of Hope
Bridge of Hope operates its own elementary school.
There are vocational programs available for the older children including a computer lab, woodworking and metal shop, small barbershop, dairy, and several very large gardens.
Some of the older children go on to attend college at nearby Gondar University.