We at Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (FOVC) Ethiopia send our most warmhearted Christmas greetings and blessings to all our friends and highly valued partners.
In Ethiopia, we celebrate Christmas (Ganna in Amharic) on January 7 (Tahsas 29) instead of December 25. It is a day when families including small children attend church. In the church choirs sing and preachers preach the herald of Christ’s birth. After the church service is over the rest of the day is spent dancing, playing sport and feasting.
The day before Ganna, people (particularly Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers) fast all day. The next morning at dawn, every one dresses in white. Then everyone goes to early prayer and mass in the morning.
The foods enjoyed during the Ganna season include injera (a sourdough pancake like bread), doro wat (a thick spicy chicken or meat stew), vegetables, and eggs and cheese as well.
Though it is not large as westerns do for their children in Christmas, gift giving is also a part of Christmas celebration in Ethiopia. Children usually receive presents such as clothing.
Last year FOVC’s children in all the three project sites received backpacks filled with gift cards, school materials, personal hygiene care materials, toys and dolls from our main supporter Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc. This year we are raising funds to purchase new school uniforms for our children. If you are interested to donate for our school uniform project, please go to.
Meanwhile, we are thinking and praying for other poorest children around us whom we are not able to include in our programs due to the lack of resources and funds. We see that there are still immense needs to be fulfilled for the vulnerable children, who are the target of our H.O.P.E Child Sponsorship activities in Southern Ethiopia. There are children living frustrating lives, needing psychological, spiritual, financial and educational supports. Gifts, celebrations, joy and harmony are fluffy concepts for these children. For most of them Christmas is just another time of struggling – like any other day of the year. We have much work to do together in order to secure these children a fair and joyful childhood.
The board and staff of FOVC and me send our gratitude and thanks to our partners for your cooperation and continuous participation in our tenacious struggle to break the cycle of poverty and make the vision of FOVC come true:
“… that enabling orphans, vulnerable children and widows to overcome poverty and to have the chance to become responsible, productive and happy individuals.”
Founder and Executive Director, FOVC