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Ethiopia has Africa’s fastest-growing economy, but a third of the population remains impoverished. The majority of Ethiopians live and work in rural areas, with few possibilities to pursue ambitions other than ensuring their families’ fundamental necessities are met. Hundreds of thousands of children died as a result of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s. Approximately 4.5 million Ethiopian children are orphaned or separated from their families today, while maternal mortality, famine, and gender inequality persist. Holt works with sponsors and supporters to ensure that Ethiopia’s most vulnerable children grow up in a loving environment. To survive, many Ethiopian families rely on what they can grow on their property. Poverty is widespread, and only a small percentage of youngsters attend school. Sponsors and gifts to Holt help families attain financial stability by supporting initiatives that increase their income while also providing children with the nutrition and education they need to reach their full potential. In 2010, Holt teamed up with a local church to build a three-room stone schoolhouse in Wallana’s rural southern section. Holt hired local instructors and social workers and outfitted the school with desks, seats, and chalkboards with the help of donations, while sponsors gave uniforms, books, and materials for the students.

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