There’s a beautiful city in Eastern Africa where ancient culture, devoutly religious people and extreme poverty all meet. It is captivating – a paradox of rich and poor and great pain.


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was established in the 19th century and today, is home to nearly 3.4 million people. The Lonely Planet says this about Addis:


Since its establishment in the 19th century, Addis Ababa (አዲስ አበባ) has always seemed like a magical portal, a gateway to another world. For the rural masses of Ethiopia it was, and is, a city whose streets are paved in gold; and for a foreign visitor, the portal of Addis Ababa is at the verge of an ancient and mystical world.

For both these groups, Addis – Africa’s fourth-largest city and its diplomatic capital – is a place of contrasts: the shepherd from the countryside bringing his flock to a city market; the city priest with the business investments; the glossy nightclubs with the country-girl prostitutes. Despite this merging of worlds, many foreign visitors try to transit Addis as quickly as possible. But take note: by skipping out on the contradictions of this happening city you run the risk of failing to understand Ethiopia altogether. 

Read more:

Ethiopian street

It’s within this city, that LSM has found a heartbreaking need. As young girls travel from the countryside to find work, they are often met with a much harsher option for survival. Desperation causes women to turn to prostitution as a means of survival. This vicious cycle continues as they have children who are born into the same disparity.


But we are convinced it doesn’t have to be this way. Not for all of them.


LSM is committed to helping redeem women’s stories and help them care for their children so they can become all God has for them to be.


Some of our staff is in Addis Ababa meeting with our partners and working with Moriya, an Ethiopian purse business. Over the next week or so we’ll share some of the stories and meaningful things that they’re experiencing there. Stay tuned to hear more!


Learn more about LSM’s work in Ethiopia here.