Print friendly version

Ethiopia, Africa

ETH02l - Care Centre at Asezo

Partnership Ref.:



Worku Tafete



Funding Status:

Completed - Self-sustaining

Partnership Type:


Funding Size:

$0 - $2,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 0

Connected To:

ETH02a , ETH02b , ETH02c , ETH02d , ETH02k , ETH02m


No video available yet

Funding Contact:

No funding required


View map
Click to view map

Population: 85.0 million

Life Expectancy: 54.7 years

GDP: US$333 per capita

Unemployed: 50.0%

77.6% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

65 families are being assisted

70 elderly, disabled or chronically ill people supported

4 people employed in partner businesses

Partnership Overview

quite a characterAsezo is one of the poorest parts of the city of Gondar. It has a huge market to which many people come each day to trade. Many people live there and in that mix, many vulnerable old people try to survive. They are poor and vulnerable and no-one really looks out for them. Many are disabled or blind and there is no social welfare programme to care for the poor.

Many of the elderly end up living and surviving on the streets, abandoned by society and their families. 

History of Partnership
For a number of years, since BHW began partnering in Gondar (2007), there have been feeding programmes. It seems that this culture creates poverty and thousands live on the streets. In the process of caring for a group of widows in the centre of Gondar City (ETH02b) Worku Tafete discovered another area where there were many widows and elderly people. 

grateful for some foodIn fact, the partnership with the community meant that the local government agreed to supply a building for this initial programme in the centre of the city. The Gondar City government provided a building but unfortunately it was not really adequate. Worku told them that it was becoming too difficult for the elderly to get to the place and threatened to leave. In the process the Asezo community offered a building and plans were made to shift the programme there. However it meant that the original people would be too far from the new location and they pleaded for their one to remain open. So, instead of one programme, there are now two!

The programme was due to commence early in 2013 but due to some delays the building was not made available until September. However it is now up and running and serving the people. 

The beneficiaries are 70 of the most vulnerable people in the Asezo community. They are selected by the local government as a partnership with them. 

What We Like About The Partnership 

very vulnerableWe like it that the poorest of the poor are the focus of this partnership. They come from tragic backgrounds. When interviewed in October 2013 they were in tears that someone would care for them like this. 

The team say that even after one month of operation there was a noticeable improvement in both physical and emotional health for most people. 

It is great that this is a partnership with the local community. It has provided many opportunities for the Christians to be able to engage with the key people in the community and to build many helpful relationships. 


great guyKey People

Leadership Profile

Worku Tafete is the key person in Ethiopia and the developments here came about as a result of his vision. He left Ethiopia as a refugee teenager, fleeing the internal conflicts of the day. On his dangerous journey through three countries he became a follower of Christ before eventually ending up in New Zealand.

After some time in his new country he had a growing sense that he should go back to his people with the faith he had discovered, to meet the many needs of the poor and to contribute to the development of the country of his birth. He is a single man and many of his siblings live in the West. He now spends much of his time in Ethiopia, overseeing the work that has developed including the care programmes in Gondar and Asezo. His parents still live in Ethiopia, in a village just outside Gondar.

Other People Involved
A team of people come every day to prepare the food and serve the people. Mrs Mulu oversees this and the Gondar programme, purchasing the food and overseeing the team.

She is married with older children. Her husband works for the Nigerian Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan so he is rarely home, meaning she is very available to serve. She loves her work and the people who come. If a person doesn't come for two days she goes to visit them, frequently she finds them sick and even dead. As people die, others are added.

The team starts food preparation 6 days a week at around 6:00 a.m. and they finish around 2:30 p.m.

Vision And Annual Strategy
The vision is to care for the elderly and vulnerable in the community.

vulnerable ladyThere are many of them and they live on the streets. They are often unwell, lonely, disabled and many are confused and mentally unstable. The strategy is to feed them seven meals a week and provide a safe place they can come each day. On the streets they are scavenging and vulnerable. 

It is hard to know what the future of this might be. It would be great to get a permanent building but in the meantime it is helping a lot of people and building a lot of goodwill in the community.


Personal Testimony
Real "Life Change" Stories
The local government representative is very pleased that this programme has started. 

One family has been significantly impacted. An old woman was one of the original people selected to be part of this programme. After coming a couple of times she requested that her daughter be able to come too. The daughter is blind and in her vulnerability was raped and has a little baby. Now all three generations come for the daily meals and are much happier.