We work to get children off the streets of Ethiopia by providing them with a safe environment, rehabilitation, family preservation, and investing in their education.
We rescue children from the streets of Ethiopia. Much of this takes place at our main ministry location, the Drop-in Center. This is a safe place where children can come and receive food, participate in informal education, bathe, and simply play as kids. The center provides our Ethiopian team members the chance to develop trust with these children and eventually restore them to their families, schools and rebuild lasting hope through education and Christ’s love.
Once a child is rescued from the streets he or she needs a very important thing – a family. We work tirelessly with children to rehabilitate them and then to restore them back to their family. Children who have no family able to care for them are placed into a family made up of a house mother and other children who share a similar past. We also to work to continue their education so they can equip themselves for the future. A breakdown of our projects include Family Reintegration, Halfway Homes, and Education.
This is the part of our ministry that allows us to minister to children on the verge of “streetism” and their families. Preserving that family unit is of utmost importance. Through followup, family training, and educational support we strive to keep families intact. We also invest in these children’s education because simply remaining in school deters many children from ever leaving their homes for life on the streets. The key to our success is the impact we have in these communities as our team shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the children and their families.
What We've Achieved
- 142 Children have been rescued from the streets.
- 250 Families are currently being rebuilt through education and family support.
- 19 Children were restored to their families in 2016.
- 10 children (in our most recent group of children in our Drop-in Center program) have been restored to their families in the last 2 months.
The Forsaken Children (TFC) traces its beginnings back to early 2005 when Joe Bridges, current TFC Field Director and Michael Granger traveled to Ethiopia on a short-term missions trip. Both of these young men were shocked to see thousands of children living on the streets in the capital, Addis Ababa. Joe and Michael both felt convicted to do something to not only provide shelter and love for these street children, but also to share the message and lasting hope of Jesus Christ with them. Not coming from the culture or speaking the language made such a feat seem impossible until they met a young Ethiopian man named Nega Meaza.
Nega made it clear that he loved his country, especially its children and at the end of the trip the three men sat down together for what is now known as The Forsaken Children’s first meeting. At the end of this meeting a special commitment to the street children of Ethiopia was established.
In 2006, the TFC team grew to include Joe’s wife, Karyn. Joe and Karyn spent three months training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia while also working with Nega to establish the mission and vision of the ministry. During this trip, the Ethiopian non-government organization for street child restoration was founded by Nega and five other Ethiopian men and women in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This organization, also known as Onesimus, became The Forsaken Children’s first partner and continues to be the hands and feet of TFC’s ministry on the ground of Ethiopia working tirelessly to share lasting hope with street children and the community around them.
TFC’s partnership with Nega Meaza and the rest of the Ethiopian team has helped this Ethiopian run project reach over 350 children in the impoverished area known as Lideta within Addis Ababa and now 60 children in the rural community of Dorsi. Many of these beneficiaries have been rescued from the streets, placed in or have remained in families due to the street child restoration ministry interventions. Key to this success is the impact TFC has in these communities as they share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the children and their families.