COVID-19 Update: We Need Your Help!

Apr 13, 2020

In our last blog post about COVID-19, we shared with you all that the country of Ethiopia is doing to combat COVID-19. The government has put into place many measures to protect its citizens (check it out here-  However, we are already seeing the effects of the pandemic in the lives of the beneficiaries we are so privileged to serve.

We are able to keep our AJ Home sustained and safe. The AJ Girls and staff that live at the home are staying quarantined, just like we are here in the United States. We’ve purchased food for the home for three months to ensure they have everything they need. We are so grateful for money that has already come into our COVID-Relief fund to allow us to do this.

However, social distancing is hard for some of our families in our Family Empowerment Program (FEP). Many of our families live in houses that have one or two rooms and located in compounds commonly shared with other families, so social distancing is challenging at best. Shared latrines and sinks are often shared within these compounds and play space for children is also shared within these compounds. The majority of our FEP families are also required to walk outside of their compounds to buy and bring water home, traveling sometimes long distances to get water. It’s going to be an uphill battle.

AJ is staying abreast of current developments regarding COVID-19 in Ethiopia and is closely following government directives. Meanwhile, here are our main concerns that we currently are focusing on and are looking for emergency funding to further keep our families safe:

AJ is currently working hard to keep its FEP families and the AJ Home family safe from the virus. Accordingly, the first area of our concern is food.

In ordinary times and without the presence of COVID-19, the price of food in Ethiopia fluctuates a lot. Now, related to COVID-19, there has already been a large jump in food prices, and we anticipate this trend will continue. The monthly stipend that our FEP families receive from AJ will not be enough to combat this spike in food costs.

It is vital that we don’t impede on all the progress that’s been made in the past year in our empowerment process. Our families need immediate relief in the coming months and we need your help.

Our goal is to distribute staple food items (oil, flour, teff, shiro, beans, and rice) to all of the families we serve by the first of this week. We will continue to distribute emergency relief food in May and June as well.

In order to protect themselves from the virus, we are continuously reminding our families to frequently wash hands and apply proper handwashing techniques that we trained them on in March. To help in this area, we are going to distribute three bars of soap a month for the next quarter, as well as laundry soap to keep clothes clean. We are also looking into the logistics are ensuring all of our families continue to have access to clean water. It is crucial at this time that we aid in the health and hygiene of all the people we have the privilege of serving in our programs.

In order to address the above two concerns in a timely manner, we are turning to our donors and supporters to come alongside us! Would you consider helping in the following ways?

  1. Pray for our families and our staff in Ethiopia.Sign up to receive our monthly prayer requests at
  2. For each family, we need to raise $150 USDand this amount will cover the cost of buying a three-month food supply per family, as well as soap and water supplies needed during this pandemic. Any donation of any amount to our Addis Jemari COVID-19 Relief Fund would be such a blessing.

*Gifts can also be made by check. Just write in the memo line “Covid-19 Relief Fund” and send to:
Addis Jemari
2613-B Discovery Drive
Raleigh, NC 27616

  1. Keep buying handmade items from AJ Marketplace so that we continue funding our programs.

ur goal is to raise initially $7,650 USD for our Addis Jemari COVID-19 Relief Fund. This is an emergency request and we are hopeful our AJ community will step in and help us keep our families ready and protected from the upcoming COVID-19 threat. We’ve already received a little over $1,800—thank you so much! We still have a ways to go to be able to provide these much needed supplies to the families we serve over the course of the next few months.

We are praying for each of you, knowing this is not an easy time for anyone. Let us know how we can specifically be praying for our AJ Family!

And please pray for us as the weeks and months ahead could be long and hard, but we know God is in the midst of it, and that He loves Addis Jemari and the people we serve more than we do. He’s got this!

1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.”