Ethiopia’s population has more than doubled since the 1980s, but life expectancy remains low, at only 58 years. Many children are orphaned by parents lost too young to AIDS, other communicable diseases, or to child birth. Others are abandoned due to extreme poverty that is pervasive, especially in rural areas and among migrant workers. Worldwide Orphans (WWO) works in Ethiopia to:

  • Provide healthcare to children and families living with HIV/AIDS;
  • Provide education, enrichment and residential care to orphaned children;
  • Prevent further orphaning by testing adults for HIV so they can know their status and reduce their risks of acquiring or spreading the disease.


WWO works with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to provide HIV/AIDS care and diagnostic services to over 2,000 HIV positive clients, about one-third of whom are children. Sixty percent of the clients are receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). The WWO-AIDS Healthcare Foundation Counseling and Testing Program for HIV tests approximately 50,000 people per year in Addis Ababa through a mobile testing unit and tents.  In 2012 we tested and provided counseling to more than 50,000 adults and adolescents. Our weekend youth club provides the clinic’s adolescent patients with an integrated program of psychosocial support, drama, art, team-building and health education.  


To nurture the dreams of orphaned and vulnerable children, and to provide an avenue to success, WWO created the WWO Academy in 2007 to serve orphans and at-risk children from the community; those from families afflicted with or affected by disease and that earn less than $25 per month. We started with kindergarten, adding a new grade comprised of 72 students each year.  As of 2013, our Academy includes grades K-5 – a  total of 432 children from orphanages and the community. These students receive the necessary education, meals, enrichment and support to help them become healthy, productive, independent citizens.   


Des’s Village is a small children’s home managed by WWO to care for 39 children ages 6 to 20+, many of whom are living with HIV. Des’s Village provides comprehensive psychosocial care, including the assessment of each child’s family and developmental histories, health, academic and social development. Twenty-nine of the children attend WWO Academy and the 10 oldest attend a local private school called Lucy Academy. All children receive age-appropriate life skills and vocational training.


WWO coordinates a soccer league where children from orphanages make new friends and take part in friendly soccer matches.  Approximately 400 children from 10 local partner organizations participate in the league.  Most teams conduct training on a weekly basis, supported by coaches who provide instruction and mentoring. The teams meet up for monthly events that include soccer matches and track and field activities.


When school breaks for the summer, orphans and at-risk children have fewer ways to keep occupied, and fewer nutritious meals to fill their bellies.  That’s why WWO offers Camp Addis, which focuses on strengthening connections between children, building self-confidence and fostering creativity.  Camp Addis Residential Camp, run in partnership with SeriousFun Children’s Network, serves children and youth living with HIV.  Each summer we run four six-day sessions serving a total of approximately 120 children. The Camp Addis Day Camp is for children served by the WWO Academy.


In partnership with SeriousFun Children’s Network, WWO provided trainings on psychosocial methodology for other child-serving organizations in Addis Ababa in 2011. The trainings covered topics such as the impact a caring relationship with an adult can have on a child, behavioral support and intervention strategies. The trainees represent a variety of fields, including direct caretakers, nurses, social workers, home managers, and representatives from various federal government agencies and UNICEF.   

WWO’s in-depth programming in Ethiopia works to ensure that orphans and at-risk children grow strong, healthy minds and bodies. We aim to break the cycle of poverty and disease that leads to child suffering and abandonment.


Learn more about WWO Camp Addis
Learn more about Family Health Clinic

Learn more about Global Arts

Learn more about HIV Counseling and Testing

Learn more about HIV / AIDS Treatment and Training

Learn more about Sports

Learn more about WWO Academy

Where We Are

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