Project information

Foster Care for Street Children in Ethiopia

In Addis Ababa there are thousands of street children who can’t go home to their families because they have lost contact or there is a history of abuse. This project will enable street children to find a safe and loving home by recruiting and training foster families who will provide long-term care

This is a permanent project, but the initial phase which we are seeking funding for will run from November 2010 – November 2011

Charity information: Retrak - Inspiring Street Children

Retrak - Inspiring Street Children logo
  • Need


    There are over 60,000 children living on the streets of Addis Ababa, each facing a daily struggle to survive in a society which views them as worthless. Many are forced to beg or scavenge for food and to sleep on busy roads where they are vulnerable to traffic accidents, violence and crime. Every child has a different reason for being on the street, but often the underlying cause is the breakdown of their family or abuse they have suffered which has left them no option but to run away from home.


    Retrak will identify and train foster families who will be able to provide long-term, emotionally stable care in a safe environment. Being fostered by a loving family will give these children the chance for a brighter future, in which they can gain an education and gradually rebuild their self-esteem. In the words of Musoke, a street boy who was recently fostered, “it is beyond my capacity to say thank you enough."

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To recruit and train 20 foster families to each care for a street child.


    » Building the capacity of a local partner organisation (OPRIFS ) to work alongside Retrak in the development and delivery of foster care.
    » Providing support for street children making the transition from street life to a foster family (education, counselling and medical treatment).
    » Recruiting and provide training and support for potential foster carers, including income generation schemes.
    » Matching street children with foster families based on need and cultural background; providing post- placement support for children and families.

    Success will be measured in terms of the number of foster families recruited and trained during the life of the project, and through feedback from children who have been fostered.

  • Impact


    This project will allow the children fostered to build a new life away from the streets permanently; it will also give the foster families long-term skills and experience of caring for vulnerable children. On a broader scale, the project will contribute to positive social change in Ethiopia, raising awareness and understanding of the need for foster families.


    There is a risk that, if a child were unhappy with their foster family, they might return to street life. We will minimise this option by ensuring that our follow-up procedure is robust and comprehensive. Regular home visits and phone calls will monitor the success of the placement and if any issues arise children will be offered alternative accommodation at our overnight shelter.


    Donors will be sent monthly email updates and biannual newsletters detailing the success of both the foster care project and Retrak’s other work with street children in Africa.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £24,520

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,465 Staff and office Preparation, training, office equipment
      £8,000 Children Outreach, identifying need, relationship
      £1,335 Foster families Training and recruitment
      £4,260 Placement Matching, income generation
      £1,900 Follow up/evaluation Monitoring, sharing lessons learnt, visits
      £2,560 Support costs Local and UK
  • Background


    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


    The primary beneficiaries of our project will be the initial group of 20 street children who are given the chance to build a new life away from the street. The foster families are considered secondary beneficiaries, as many of these have lost children due to HIV/AIDS and value the opportunity to care for another child. On a broader level, this project will benefit the local community through increased economic prosperity.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Retrak has over fifteen years’ experience of working with street children in Africa and since 2002 has operated a successful foster care scheme in Uganda. Our expertise in this area has been recognised by the Ugandan Government, UNICEF, the Better Care Network and USAID.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Staff Team In Ethiopia

    The staff team is made up of social workers, outreach staff and teachers who are all Ethiopian nationals.