Girls: the hidden problem

There are over 800 children sleeping on the streets of Gondar every night, over 90% are boys. Their situation is very tough, beyond what any child should endure. But where are the girls? There are no statistics we can find however our every day experiences speak for themselves. Girls of all ages come to our office pleading for help. They are not homeless; mostly they are ‘housemaids’. It is a common practice in Ethiopia for families to have a housemaid. This is not a bad thing; it provides vital shelter and income to many young women. However the reality of being a housemaid can be a harsh one. Mostly invisible to people outside the household many girls are treated like slaves; given no wages, fed only scraps and often mentally, physically or sexually abused. As part of our new 5 year strategic plan we hope to identify and protect these children. This can only be achieved by raising vigilance, improving education and working directly with community based organisations to build a network across Gondar. With talks with new sponsors at an advanced stage we hope to announce the opening of a new shelter soon. This new home will provide a loving family environment for 17 girls. If you are moved by this story and want to help please make a regular monthly donation to Yenege Tesfa through our UK partner Good Karma. The cost of giving a little girl a new family home with education, healthcare and a bright future is as little as €1.40 per day; no more than a cup of...