Background to the Project Area

The project site is located in the city of Adama or Nazareth about 100 kilometers or 60 miles east of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The city of Adama/ Nazareth has a population of 200,000, many roads come in and out of the city; the Jibouti-Addis Ababa railway line passes through the city.

This has made the city second only to Addis in terms of commercial traffic and transit population. This has resulted in two major problems: a high incidence of HIV/AIDS victims and an alarming increase in the number of street children. It is estimated that there are 200,000 street children in Ethiopia. Out of these 11 thousand are found in the city of Adama/ Nazareth alone.

Project skiss
25% or 3 thousand of them live on the street with no adult care; the other 75% or 9 thousand are children on the street who earn a living by doing some activity on the street during the day, but have a home to go to at night with their families or friends. 25% of the 11 thousand are girls and 75% are boys.The increasing number of street children in Adama is now a major problem. According to the study only 35% of the street children in Adama/Nazareth had parents residing in the city. Around 41% of the children had parents living in rural areas. In addition, the findings of the study show that the most pressing needs are: food, shelter, security, medical care, educational support, Livelihood work, etc… Furthermore, the study points out those families who send their children from rural areas to work in the cities have negatively influenced the growth of street life

Project site

As one turns off from the main street and drives towards the headquarters of RPC, one will see rows and rows of shacks on both sides of the dirty road. These mud-walled houses are old and dilapidated, many of them with dirt floors and leaking roofs. Many of them are as old as the city itself. They were built in the 1950s and 60s. These houses are occupied mostly by commercial sex workers who have been forced into this trade due to poverty, violence and abuse. In most cases these commercial sex workers are illiterate and unaware of the precaution they should take about their reproductive health. As a result, they give birth to children they cannot afford to raise and therefore many of these children end up on the street or become orphaned. In addition, a good number of the mothers contract HIV/AIDS and become sick, and in certain cases die.