Welcome to the Ethiopia Kid’s Room!
Our life in Ethiopia may be very different from yours, but we all have hopes and dreams! We want to share about games we play, food we eat, typical struggles and what our daily life looks like. Thank you for joining us as we become better friends and learn more about each other!
LEARN ABOUT ETHIOPIA
An estimated 150,000 children live on the streets in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Daily life for these vulnerable children is often dangerous as they try to survive. They are often victims and harassed. Many times, parents leave children alone while they try to find work. Once they are five or six years old, young children have the job of caring for their baby brothers or sisters. It is normal to see a six-year-old carrying a baby while doing other chores.
Only 25% of all children regularly attend school. The typical school year is from September to June. School is free in our country, but it is very difficult to afford school books, supplies and uniforms. Only 13% of children who do well in elementary, will even enroll in secondary school. If we attend secondary school, classes switch from Amharic (our national language) to English. This is very difficult! Unfortunately, the literacy rate for people above the age of 15 is only 57%.
There are many hardships faced by children in Ethiopia. Often, children live in severe poverty and are malnourished. Ethiopian parents often put their children to work for a variety of purposes. Boys are sent into the fields, while girls sell items in the market or work as domestic servants. Each year many Ethiopian children are forced into domestic service or into forced labor in the fields, mines or fabric factories. As a result, many children do not attend school and feel hopelessness for their future.
What We Do For Fun
Gebeta, a game of strategy, has been popular for hundreds of years in our country. It is played using seeds or pebbles and a board with rows of cups. We also enjoy playing senyo masenyo, which is similar to hopscotch and tata which is similar to jacks. Many kids learn the eskista dance, which is performed almost entirely with the shoulders. Running and soccer are the most popular sports in our country.
Ethiopia is very mountainous, and several types of animals are found in the mountains, such as baboon, ibex, and the Ethiopian Wolf. There are many types of monkeys, birds, hippos, hyenas and ostriches. In the countryside, you see many farm animals. You don’t see nearly as many animals in the city though, donkeys are used for transportation and stray dogs roam the streets.
What You See in Addis Ababa
Our capital, Addis Ababa, is home to many museums, the National Palace (home to the president), numerous cathedrals and churches, and university. The “Mercato”, the largest open air market in Africa is also located here. It is several miles wide, and sells food, spices, coffee and fabric. Among the beauty and opportunity, there are many children living on the streets trying to find food to eat. Children are often sick and not able to see a doctor. Many children cannot afford to attend school.
Injera, similar to pancakes, is the common food in Ethiopia. Another breakfast staple for many kids is kinche, or what many call “Ethiopian oatmeal”. Learn how to make this Ethiopia breakfast dish!
Kinche: Ethiopian oatmeal
1 cup of the cracked wheat (bulgar)
put it in a saucepan full of water (4-5 cups of water).
1/4 c. ghee or vegetable oil.
Boil until the water disappears and then add a bit of salt.