Children at CV Gode, Ethiopia

Near the border with Somalia, Gode is prone to famine and violence as the civil war in the neighbouring country frequently spills over the border.

Not connected by road to the country's capital Addis Abeba, isolation is acute and regional emergencies are frequent.

Fighting for survival is the norm for the children of Gode

Often described as one of the world's most forgotten corners, SOS Children's Village Gode is in the south western corner of Ethiopia. Welfare statistics for the entire population are almost universally high - poor housing, difficult access to drinking water, poor sanitation and access to food are normal for most residents here. Education rates even for men are very low, often for children's inability to access a school. One in ten children get a primary school education while far fewer get a secondary education.

Floods and famines affect the local population on a regular basis, with an increasingly unpredictable climate. Being so close to Somalia, the violence of that country frequently spills over the border and people die in the internecine warfare that is caused over the border.

In 2011 there was one of the worst droughts in recent history, which killed tens of thousands of children in the area and left over 4.5 million people in need of emergency relief.

Recurring droughts called us to greater action

SOS Children moved into this area of Ethiopia in 2000 in the face of a pattern of droughts which seriously impacted the ability of families to look after themselves. We began an Emergency Relief programme to help children and families in the area. We provided medical care and food, which saved many young lives. The news media were late on the scene, and only in 2011 did pictures of dying children from the area go around the world. We intensified our efforts to help those most in need.

SOS Children's Village, Gode

Children from the SOS Children's Village Gode, EthiopiaWe set up the SOS Children's Village in Gode in 2004.Children who can no longer live with their parents are offered places in one of our 12 SOS families which cater for up to 120 children in a family environment, and are lovingly cared for by one of our SOS Mothers.

Up to 480 children from across the community can access primary and secondary schooling with us - this reaches out to poorer families who might not otherwise be able to get their children an education.

In addition, we operate two SOS Youth Homes where young people are able to develop skills that will set them up well for life. They learn to shoulder responsiblity and increasingly make their own decisions. 

In 2010 we set up a social centre which tries to reach out to the community through family strengthening programmes, a day care centre, and schools for the wider community. Parents who wish to work can leave their children with us at our day care centres and improve their incomes. Our community outreach programme aims to improve family cohesion through social skills, but also by helping families live by their own means. We offer counselling and psychological support.

There is also an SOS medical centre which can treat up to 10000 people. 

You can change a young child's life by becoming a child sponsor today. Through regular updates and photos, you'll get to know a child living our SOS Children's Village Gode.


Make a difference and help prevent street children by supporting our charity’s community Family Strengthening Programmes.