Children's perspectives

Young Lives is in the unique position of being able to study and work with a group of 12,000 children over 15 years as they grow up, start school, drop out or leave school, start work, cope with births and deaths in their families, and maybe even get married and have children themselves.

In Ethiopia we are following 3,000 children and their families. Our researches regularly visit these children along with their communities to learn and understand their lives, their needs and hope for the future. Young Lives considers children as active participants of the research, thus, employ a variety of techniques to encourage children share their views including in depth interviews, focus group discussion.

These pages share some of the Ethiopian children’s own perspectives on the world and their reflections and responses to our research – in their own words. This is an essential part of the Young Lives approach – to ensure children’s voices are heard and their participation is a core value of the study.

Changing Lives in a Changing World: Young Lives children growing up

A series of stories from Young Lives children that set the issues affecting their lives against the wider picture. Available here to view and download either as individual stories or as complete book.

AfeworkAfework's story : Children’s understandings of wealth and poverty

Afework is now 16 and is generally happy with his life. He is still living with his brother and cousin, and they have a good system for managing the house together. Afework is in a private school, paid for by a scholarship for orphans, and is about to take his national exams. And the last few weeks have brought the family a big and welcome surpriseread more

Hadush's story: Social protection in Ethiopia HadushHadush is now 16 and his life has improved a lot in the past few years. Due to a good harvest, his family circumstances are much better and they have been able to pay off their debts. And although he is worried about not having gone to school and learned to read and write, Hadush enjoys his work and has many ideas about his more

LouamLouam's story: Poverty reduction in Ethiopia

Now Louam is 9, and her wish to start school has been granted. Her family’s circumstances are better, and they have a new kitchen and a toilet. Other things in the village have improved too. But school has not lived up to her expectationsread more

TufaTufa's story: School drop-out among older children

Tufa is now about 16, although he looks much younger. He did go back to school for a short time, but then his father was sent to prison and he had to drop out again to help his mother. He is a hard-working and responsible boy, but it will not be easy for him to return to school again although he would like more

SebleSeble's story: Traditional practices and girls’ choices

Seble is now 17. It takes a little while to find out that there has been a major change in her life. Seble says she is happy about it, and her mother has a lot to say as wellread more




TejeTeje's story: Poverty and ill health

Teje is 9 years old. She has three sisters and a brother, the youngest of whom is 4. Her family has suffered a lot recently because her father is ill and unable to work. Teje has big ambitions, and her mother too has dreams for her daughter. But it is too early to say whether they will work outread more