Staff and supporters of Northern Ireland charity, Hope365, took to the street outside its Ballyclare charity shop overnight on Wednesday 31st August to raise awareness and funds for street children who have to sleep on the streets of Shashemene, Ethiopia, every night.

With more than £600 raised so far, Chief Executive, Michael Holmes, is delighted with the success of the venture. “Imagine knowing that at the end of every day spent wandering the streets trying to get something to eat, you are faced with the dilemma of what ditch or doorway you are going to have to sleep in.  Sadly that’s the plight facing more than 1000 children – some as young as six years of age – in Shashemene.  Spending one night sleeping on the streets doesn’t even compare to what these kids have to face but it did give us a great opportunity to chat with folk in Ballyclare about our Street Kids Project in Ethiopia.”

Hope365 has a home for street children in Shashemene which is bringing hope to children who simply have no one else to care for them.  While the home can only scratch the surface of the overall problem, it makes all the difference in the world for individual children like Debiyso (the photographic cut-out in the photo).

Michael explains: “This young lad has been on the streets for many years – in fact he doesn’t even know what age he is when you ask him but he does know that his mum is dead.  He tries to sell tissues and chewing gum from the box he wears around his neck by wandering through the town centre.  If he sells, he gets to buy leftover food from hotels in the town – if he doesn’t, he’ll go hungry.  In fact when we bought him hot milk he didn’t even know how to drink a hot drink!”

If you’d like to support Hope365, visit the link below, the website: or call into either of the shops in Ballyclare or Crumlin.  The Ballyclare shop, in particular, could do with some additional volunteers at the moment.  Hope365 is always keen to visit churches, schools and businesses with its compelling and challenging presentations. For more information contact Michael Holmes on 028 9303 8792.