Jimma is the largest town in the southwestern part of the Oromia region. Around 35 million people live in the region, which is one of the most deprived in Ethiopia. Most people live in rural areas, where the poverty rates are improving but not as fast as in urban areas. Children are often hardest hit when families are affected by economic hardship, and political and natural disasters. Many families have been displaced by the political situation; they have been forced to leave their homes and support structures behind. Building a new life in the city of Jimma is often not straightforward.
Since 2012, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Jimma.
According to UNICEF, 90% of children in the Oromia region live in poverty, which includes a range of issues such as poor health, lack of education, and unsafe living environments.
Large families with many children, especially those who have recently moved to the region, who live in rural areas, are more likely to be deprived. In many cases, they do not have access to safe drinking water, schooling and adequate housing.
The provision of health care is improving, but vulnerable families, especially those in rural areas can find it hard to access medical assistance. In light of the difficult economic and social situation, many parents find it hard to care and provide for their families. Children who are most at risk of losing parental care include those with many siblings, those who are internally displaced and those living in poverty. Many families from across Ethniopia have been displaced by the political situation; they have been forced to leave their homes and support structures behind. Currently, 1.7 million people, who have been displaced from different parts of the country, are sheltered in the Oromia region. Building a new life in the city of Jimma is often not straightforward.