Ethiopia landscape

Beverley resident travels to Ethiopia to visit his sponsored child

Beverley resident, Howard Petch, has just returned from Ethiopia where he visited his sponsored child, Alemshet. Howard has supported Alemshet for over six years through child development charity, Compassion UK.


Over the last three years, Howard has raised over £27,000 for Compassion UK by completing a sponsored climb to Gilman’s point, Mount Kilimanjaro and a sponsored walk of the Inca Trail in South America. At 71-years-old his recent adventure to Ethiopia was no less exciting as he met his sponsored child for the first time, “It was especially emotional to meet Alemshet and experience a bond that is real, profound and a source of hope for us both. The meeting brought alive the reality of sponsorship, the difference it has made and will go on making.”

“Meeting Alemshet for the first time was very special. After a hug and a few tears, we shared details of our families. I brought him a gift of a football, it proved a popular choice and his eyes sparkled. He had brought with him all the letters and cards we had sent over the last six years and was clearly interested to know more about my family,” Howard recalls.

12-year-old Alemshet lives on the plains of Debre Zeyit, 45 kilometres south east of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Howard’s sponsorship of £25 per month enables Alemshet to be part of his local Compassion project. The children that attend Compassion projects receive an education and are given access to nutrition, medical care and emotional support.

“Given all that I witnessed in Ethiopia, I am drawn to the conclusion that Compassion is able to translate the vast issue of global poverty to the life, hope and future of the individual child. Compassion is tackling poverty one child at a time but on a scale that is making a real difference. It is inspiring to be a part of it,” Howard reflects.

Compassion works with over 1.7 million children like Alemshet around the world. Working in partnership with the local church, they seek out the most vulnerable children and, with the support of individual sponsors, provide them with the means to break the cycle of poverty and create a viable future.

For more information, photographs and interviews contact Ella Dickinson:



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