Local Adoption and Foster Care
Ethiopian culture strongly encourages extended family to care for needy children, but it can be very difficult in a country of over 4 million orphans when no family remains. Eyob has worked tirelessly to promote local adoption as a simpler and more abundant alternative to international adoption, and local foster care with families as a healthier and more sustainable alternative to orphanages. KVI has been a forerunner in both, and was the first organization to place a child into foster care in Ethiopia.
KVI has placed over 100 children in foster homes since 2010. Eyob does weekly trainings all over the country and recently helped the government create a manual for foster care for regional and national levels. KVI is a founding member of the Consortium of Ethiopia Child Development Organizations (CECDO) and Eyob is the current chairperson. They believe that children belong in the community rather than institutions.
Though long-term stays in an orphanage are to be avoided, they can still be indispensable as a transitional place while adoptive or foster families are being arranged. They are also still necessary for children with special needs that are especially difficult to place. KVI operated six orphanages in years past but has been able to scale it back to just one currently, along with several smaller group homes for older children. The other orphanages were deinstitutionalized, with all the kids being adopted or placed into foster care domestically.
KVI operates a large remedial education program in the city of Nazarit (or Adama) in central Ethiopia. Over 4000 children have been through the accelerated learning program which allows them to complete 3 grades in one year and catch up with their age group. KVI hires and trains the teachers and provides materials and classrooms, many of them lent by local churches.
In addition, KVI helps the families of all of these children to start savings accounts and with financial training. This allows the family to be more economically stable and the kids to stay in school.
Family Empowerment and Orphan Prevention
In the Woleta, KVI has assisted the community by building wells, establishing a library at a local school, assisting with vocational training, and similar to the education program in nazarit, helped local women establish savings accounts and start small businesses.
Additionally, KVI has helped over 100 street children to reunite with their families.
All of these efforts continue today, but the need is great. The Ethiopian government does not provide any funding to support the programs, even domestic foster care. Please consider giving or sponsoring a child.