The streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, teem with children. They shine shoes, sell gum, and do whatever they can to survive. Unfortunately, these kids are vulnerable to traffickers.
Child slavery is big business in Ethiopia, where almost 400,000 people, mostly women, and children, are held against their will and forced to work in ways they do not choose, for no pay or extremely low pay. Often children or teens from impoverished rural areas go to the city to find work but end up being tricked or lured into forced labor.
For several years, Amanuel Light & Life Free Methodist Church in Meganagna, a sub-city of Addis, has been supporting 50 orphans and impoverished children in their neighborhood. Many of these kids have lost one or both of their parents to HIV/AIDS. Compassionate church members have volunteered their time every Saturday to run a program with tutoring, games, singing, and lunch. They have done what they could to pay school fees for the children since the greatest safeguard for children is to be in school and be preparing for a better future.
The pastor, Superintendent Mekebib, has asked ICCM for help, as the needs are overwhelming. ICCM’s 2016 Freedom Sunday project will partner with this church. Sponsoring these children will give them the benefit of education, meals, after-school tutoring, child development activities and access to medical care. They and their families and church members will also learn about trafficking and will be empowered against exploiters.
ICCM’s Freedom Sunday offering will provide funds to staff the project and purchase necessary equipment. The ripple effect of this intervention will benefit the children, their families, their church and their community.
We are honored to be a part of the Set Free Movement, joining forces with others to blow the whistle on human trafficking and do all we can to prevent it. We encourage churches to observe Freedom Sunday to expose this evil and join in prayerful community action to combat it in all its forms. ICCM is committed to the holistic development of children, strengthening them and their families and preventing them from being easy prey.
To learn more about this project, watch “The Addis Project” on our website. For a powerful music video, see “Prayer of the Children” on our website.
To sponsor one of these children or receive a Church Action Kit to present this project at your church, please call 800- 342-5531 ext. 502