In rural Ethiopia, children are half as likely to go to school than in urban areas.

Although the overall rural drop out rate is declining, in some regions the rates are particularly severe due to poverty, poor school provision, child labour and child marriage.

Since 2014 Football Action has been working in Menagesha, a rural town surrounded by forest 30km from Addis Ababa. Around 4,500 people live in Menagesha – most are farmers who can barely produce enough crops to feed their own families.

Working in tandem with charity FIDA (Friendship for Intergrated Development), we provide weekly football sessions, as well as sports kit and equipment, to the local school and kindergarten.

The after-school sessions are run by our coach Muluken and help the children to learn social skills including respect and sharing, and increase their physical health. The football sessions also give the children, most of whom are from destitute backgrounds, a break from their difficult lives.

One of the young boys we support is 13-year old Fraol. Before joining the project, he used to create disturbances in class and often fought with other children. On the football field, he didn’t have the patience to work as a team.

Over a year, Muluken worked closely with Fraol to improve Fraol’s behaviour. He now respects and listens to his teachers and has improved relationships with his classmates.

Help us give more young children in Menagesha a break from their difficult lives. Donate today.