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Ethiopia, Africa

ETH02m - Care Centre at Tikil Dingay

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 , ETH02l , ETH03


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Funding Contact:

No funding required


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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

33 families are being assisted

50 elderly, disabled or chronically ill people supported

3 people employed in partner businesses

Partnership Overview

rural EthiopiaLife in rural villages and towns in Ethiopia is not easy, especially for the elderly. The roads are often rough, the climate is harsh and the landscape steep. Many of the young people have left and gone to the city. The elderly often find themselves left in the rural towns with few family members there to care for them. There is no social welfare programme, families are poor and the elderly often cannot contribute to the family income. 

Consequently, many find themselves unable to look after themselves and take to the streets, begging to survive. 

Tikil Dingay, though bigger than a village, has many people like this. 

History of Partnership
vulnerableSince beginning a partnership in Ethiopia in 2007, the care of vulnerable elderly people has been part of the programme. 

Worku Tafete, the key BHW person in Ethiopia, comes from Tikil Dingay, about 20km to the west of Gondar. A few years ago an acquaintance of Worku's from the USA approached him to see if a feeding programme could be set up in the town. Worku agreed and was overseeing it. After about two years of operation the donor changed direction and began to pull out of the project. This left Worku with a considerable number of issues to deal with, mainly in regards to the way the local people felt about him. It was a severe embarrassment to start something and then pull out of it. 

In 2012 it was agreed that BHW would pick this up and take it over so in 2013 we began financially supporting this programme. A group of women were asked to lead the project. This has been done in partnership with the local City Council who provide a building, although it is not very adequate. 

struggle to surviveBeneficiaries

The beneficiaries are the 50 elderly people selected by the local Council as the most vulnerable. Most are women and disabled people with a few elderly men. As they leave or die more are added to the programme. 

What We Like About The Partnership

Worku has a vested interest in this being successful, these are his people. The people being aided are very poor, the people BHW most serves. 

The local church, though small, is involved as well although it is very difficult to witness overtly.  


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 this care programme. His parents and one brother still live in Tikil Dingay.

Other People Involved

committed ladyA team of women have been selected to lead the programme on a day to day basis. They purchase the food and cooking materials, they cook and serve the food and visit the people if they do not come in each day.


Vision And Annual Strategy
The vision is to give these elderly people some dignity in the last days of their lives and to keep them nourished. 

The strategy is to give each person a meal every day of the week. The centre is open 6 days and on Saturday they are given a meal to take home for the next day. The people come each day. It gives them a reason to get up and come to meet and talk to people. This is sometimes the most valuable benefit. 

From time to time they receive other assistance, blankets, shoes, clothes etc. 


vulnerable womanPersonal Testimony
Real "Life Change" Stories
These people are very poor and are reluctant to say too much about their personal circumstances. However, when visiting them they are all very thankful for the assistance they are receiving. They frequently break out in spontaneous prayers and blessings and kiss the leaders profusely.