Monday, October 15, 2007

Why Ethiopia?

One of the most common questions we get is why Ethiopia? Why not adopt from the US? This week, Jeff encountered the first negative response from someone regarding our adoption. And it was from an African-American man. Go figure. This is a little bit of information about "Why Ethiopia?" The bible tells us: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Ethiopia was the “least of these” for us. Remember in the 80's (those of you who are old enough to remember) the pictures of the starving Ethiopians? Ethiopia is still the 4th poorest country in the world, with the average family making about $160 per family per year. In addition: • One in ten children die before their first birthday • One in six children die before their fifth birthday • 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old • 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition • The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years • 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world) • 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone • Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa • In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%) • Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals) • Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school. • Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002. • Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000. • In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports. Sources: Greening Ethiopia, Ethiopia’s Children, Global Income Per Capita, CIA World Facts. So that's "Why Ethiopia?" I honestly feel like all children are God's children. Children in this country, Ethiopia and around the world. If we can make a difference for these 2 children, that should be enough. My heart aches for all of the children of the world, all countries. I wish I could do more, but right now we will be changing the world 2 lives at a time.

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