Orphan Care

In Zeway, Ethiopia, over 100 orphans have lost both of their parents. With no social safety net for children, orphans are often left to care for themselves. They feel alone and forgotten. But God has not forgotten them.

In this interview, recorded at the Together for Adoption Conference, Matt and Julie Kouri and Dawit Kassaye Woldeyohannes share a new solution to the orphan crisis in Ethiopia.

It’s not an orphanage, and it’s not international adoption. Curious? Listen to the interview.

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7 thoughts on “Orphan Care

  1. Thanks for sharing this post & interview! People need to know much more about the dangers of international adoptions and how they are not a long-term solution for the vast numbers of vulnerable children in the developing world. There are indeed consequences when children are deprived of their families, and families are deprived of their children.

    Here’s some other important links on this issue:


    “There are simply not enough healthy, adoptable infants to meet Western demand—and there’s too much Western money in search of children. As a result, many international adoption agencies work not to find homes for needy children but to find children for Western homes.

    “Since the mid-1990s, the number of international adoptions each year has nearly doubled, from 22,200 in 1995 to just under 40,000 in 2006. At its peak, in 2004, more than 45,000 children from developing countries were adopted by foreigners. Americans bring home more of these children than any other nationality—more than half the global total in recent years.

    “As international adoptions have flourished, so has evidence that babies in many countries are being systematically bought, coerced, and stolen away from their birth families.”

    Also, the Firelight Foundation had a publication they share with faith-based groups specifically to address the phenomena of building orphanages for children affected by AIDS in Africa. It can be found at: http://www.firelightfoundation.org/publication-from-faith-to-action.php

    Also see:


    • Jennifer, thanks for commenting. To be clear, the goal of this episode was not to point out flaws or merits in international adoption, although that conversation certainly needs to happen, and I would encourage our listeners to consider the data and viewpoints in the links you mentioned.

      My goal in this episode was to introduce listeners to another idea, since many Westerners haven’t considered that a family-based, indigenous approach might be a solution for orphaned children in developing countries.

      For listeners who resonate with this approach, I heartily endorse the Zeway initiative that Matt, Julie and Dawit speak about on the show! http://fh.org/zyorphans

  2. 13:30 begins the best 5 minutes of this podcast! The whole thing is powerful, but if you only have a few minutes, make sure you catch what Dawit Kassaye Woldeyohannes has to say.

    Here are a few quotes:
    -“My life is worth living when I live and sacrifice my life, my one life, my short life, with the poor, with Jesus”
    -“The right place to see Jesus is with the orphans, Jesus is with the orphans…”
    -“My Masters of Divinity is all about going down to the poor…and bringing them up to the level where Jesus wanted them to be. This is the brokenness of the world.”
    -“Theology takes people, the proper theology, takes people to walk with the poor.”

  3. Brittani, this was the highlight for me too. I’m not sure if you could tell from my response to him on the recording, but I was in tears when Dawit shared these words so passionately.

    I was thinking, “That’s how I want my life to look.”

  4. Pingback: Ministry Spotlight: Food for the Hungry « Together for Adoption

  5. Pingback: 11-19-2011 Dream Fragments | Orphans On Eastside? | John Jr's WordPress.com Blog

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