Kent resident travels to Ethiopia to visit sponsored child

Kent resident travels to Ethiopia to visit sponsored child

Diane Priestley from Ashford has just returned from Addis Ababa where she met Eyael, the girl she has been sponsoring through child development charity Compassion for 12 years.

“I have been sponsoring Eyael since she was 6 years old, when she walked into the room my eyes filled with tears, she had grown into such a beautiful young woman. I was filled with joy and pride,” shares Diana freelance journalist.

18-year-old Eyael lives in the hills of Yirgalem in the southern region, home to approximately 42,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, wood walls and corrugated iron roofs. Ethiopia is known for its extreme and widespread poverty, 45 percent of children suffer from growth stunting, an often irreversible condition caused by chronic malnutrition during early childhood.

“Eyael is just about to complete high school, where she has excelled and is an outstanding student, her ambition is to become a television presenter. She told me about her family and described where they live, her parents farm land where they grow avocadoes, papaya, spices and coffee” shares Diane.

“Through my sponsorship and the local Compassion staff, Eyael has been able to go to school. She comes from a large family and her parents would not have been able to afford school registration, uniform and books otherwise. I can’t believe that my sponsorship has made such an impact,” she explains.

Communities in Ethiopia are putting increased pressure on the government to improve the education system however there is still a high percentage of children that do not attend school and many who dropout before completing their education. There is also a low rate of female participation, this is reflected in the significant disparity between genders, as 49.1 percent of males over the age of 15 are literate, compared with just 28.9 percent of females.

Diane’s sponsorship enables Eyael to be part of her local Compassion project where she receives nutritious snacks, emotional support, medical attention and the chance to get a good quality education.

“Meeting my beautiful girl has been profound, I was delighted to discover the life-changing impact of my sponsorship; it didn’t just make a practical difference to her life it also provided emotional support and so much encouragement,” concludes Diane.

Compassion UK

Words by Compassion UK


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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.