A Lost Generation




In Ethiopia, the odds are stacked against children. It’s one of the most populous countries, one of the poorest, and it has one of the largest orphan populations in the world.

About 5 million children in Ethiopia have lost one or both parents and are struggling to survive. Many have nursed their dying parents, and some are HIV positive themselves.

Because of the scale of problem, both the relatives of orphaned children, and the small number of available orphanages, struggle to cope. This is where BTO steps in.

We pride ourselves on working with the community and for the community. This means children are supported and empowered within existing social structures. We are also mindful or respecting and promoting local values and traditions.

What We’re Doing to Help


Drop-In Centre

Weve created a drop-in centre for the children to learn, socialise and receive support. The drop-in centre has a library with over 10,000 books , 12 classrooms, a computer lab, emergency accommodation and counselling rooms.

Guardianship support program

Behind every successful child is a strong and resilient guardian. In recognition of the vital role they play, weve recently established a guardianship support program.

on the ground

Stories from Ethiopia 



Mebrate was referred to our program at the age of 14, and at this point in his life was both physically and emotionally distressed. Our first priority was to meet Mebrate’s immediate needs (shelter, food and clothing) and then over a period of time support his emotional and educational needs. Mebrate is...

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She is living proof that our program works and that kids can be all they want to be, with the right guidance and support. This wonderful young woman is 19 years old and has graduated from college as an accountant. She is ambitious and hard-working, doing stage and film studies hoping in the future to become...

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'Living without a family was hard for me and my little brother', he says. 'We had nothing.' He went to an orphanage but had to leave when he reached adolescence. With nowhere to go, Berhanu worried for his brother and their education. They went to live with an aunt, but she was struggling financially and cast...

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Five years ago, both her father and mother tragically died from AIDS within six months of each other, and her world was torn apart. Tigist's aunt gave her immediate shelter and comfort. But her aunt lived in a one-room mud house and was struggling to support her three children. Her aunt's job as a janitor brought...

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"My husband died of HIV/AIDS in 2005. We had four children together and I thought he would live with me until the day I died - I never expected to outlive him. But I lost him so suddenly," she says. "When he got sick, I had never heard of HIV/AIDS. In fact, I didn't know anything...

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