The first time Kalkidan Abera met with Hospice Ethiopia, she felt as though angels had come to help her…
Freweini Mebrahtu has dedicated her life to helping girls stay in school. In 2009, she opened a local Ethiopian business with huge social impact…
For the hundreds of women who visit Healing Hands of Joy after sustaining fistula injuries, the centres are a special place, full of warmth and love…
Two decades ago, the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa was the only place where fistula patients could be treated. Today, not only can patients access the treatment they need through six fistula centres across Ethiopia, but they can also access complete physical and social rehabilitation facilities. Hamlin’s College of Midwives actively recruits and trains new midwives and then deploys them back to their own rural communities to provide maternal healthcare and support in the regions they’re needed most.
For the Women and Health Alliance (WAHA), women’s health (particularly maternal health) is a focal point of their mission. WAHA operates three hospitals and health centres across Ethiopia that provide free obstetric fistula surgeries for mothers in need. With an estimated 3,000+ women developing an obstetric fistula every year, there is great demand for their treatment. While fistula surgery is a key part of their work, WAHA also addresses other issues related to the treatment of this condition– such as raising awareness in remote areas, providing transport to women wherever possible to assist them in seeking aid, and training more gynaecologists, surgeons and nurses in the treatment and post-operative care of fistula.
Healing Hands of Joy (HHOJ) works to end obstetric fistula in Ethiopia in two ways: first to identify, refer and rehabilitate women living with obstetric fistula, and second to break down the social stigma behind fistula and show how communities can support sufferers. HHOJ trains ex-fistula patients as Safe Motherhood Ambassadors who return to their communities to identify new cases of fistula and educate expectant mothers on safe delivery. HHOJ also works on a wider community level, hosting community workshops, religious leader training, film screenings and male sensitivity training to raise awareness and change attitudes for this socially-isolating condition.
Dignity Period helps Ethiopian girls stay in school by providing the supplies and education they need to manage menstruation. In areas where menstruation is a highly taboo subject and school dropout rates for girls are as high as 51% (over 20% higher than that for boys), this enables girls not only to finish their education but also to enjoy better joy and life prospects. Dignity Period works across the regions of Afar and Tigray, distributing locally-made, reusable sanitary pads and hygiene kits to girls in school, and also providing educational booklets to both girls and boys which help dispel myths and reduce the stigma behind menstruation.
With five safe houses across Ethiopia, the Association for Women’s Sanctuary & Development (AWSAD) is a beacon of hope to those who have experienced domestic violence or abuse. Staffed 24 hours a day by AWSAD staff, they offer more than a safe place to sleep. Along with food and medication, AWSAD provides counselling and legal follow-up, basic literacy courses, art and dance therapy, self-defence classes and vocational skills training so that women can leave the shelter as confident, independent and workplace-ready individuals.
Founded by Australian nurse Valerie Browning in 1993, the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) was created alongside local Afar leaders who felt their needs were not being met by formal government services. Today, in addition to life-changing work in water harvesting, mobile health and education, APDA is dedicated to ending harmful practices, including female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and the lack of rights for women in marriage.
Hope Enterprises has created the ‘Ladders of Hope’ programme to help people in need climb from poverty to prosperity. A key focus is education with 7 sites across Ethiopia where children and young people can access kindergarten through to primary/secondary school, university or vocational training. Once a student is accepted into a Hope school every effort is made to ensure their long-term success. Hope Enterprises also works to fight hunger and malnutrition, plus improve community health through clean water and hygiene.
Opening its doors in 2011, the Hope University College of Business Science & Technology was the first public benefit institution of higher learning in Ethiopia. Its aim to provide a first-class education for impoverished youth in Ethiopia and reduce the “brain drain” in the country resulting from students moving aboard to seek the education they couldn’t find at home. There are currently just over 1,500 students enrolled.
Standing for ‘Special Educational Needs’ in the Tigray region, SENTigray supports children in northern Ethiopia who are visually impaired. SENTigray also support the children at the Mekelle Blind School where they offer a full school curriculum so that children with low or no sight can still access the same education afforded to their peers. A major project of SENTigray has been to create audio “Talking Textbooks” as a supplement to braille textbooks. While learning braille is still an important part of the curriculum, the portable Talking Textbooks are less expensive and less cumbersome to use.
Cheshire Services aims to bring about a disability-inclusive society across
Ethiopia. They do this through their main activities: treating orthopedic disabilities among children and youth, creating community awareness to remove the stigma associated with disability, and provision of mobility aids and rough rider wheelchairs. Their Menagesha Rehabilitation Centre is their flagship site, providing both resident children and outpatients with corrective surgery, physiotherapy and custom-fitted prosthetic limbs and mobility aids. For children living in more remote areas, Cheshire Services run a mobile outreach service where a team of physiotherapists, orthopaedic technologists and a social worker can assess, treat and follow-up both new and old patients.
Hospice Ethiopia is the only organisation in Ethiopia providing community based palliative care for destitute people who are terminally ill. Their project provides in-home care, including pain management and counselling for patients, and grief support and financial assistance for family members. Currently operating in Addis Ababa, the organisation also works to create greater awareness about the existence and benefits of palliative care – something not widely known about – by training health professionals in pain assessment and control, encouraging referrals to hospice care from general health clinics, and undertaking and sharing research in palliative care across Ethiopia.
Facing Africa works to tackle the ravaging disease of noma in Ethiopia. Their main objective is to fund facial reconstructive surgeries for noma survivors by sending skilled teams of volunteer surgeons to Ethiopia twice a year. Each team is made up of specialist surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses, who undertake upwards of 35 facial reconstructions during each two-week mission. Beneficiaries also include victims of animal attacks, burns and facial tumours.
For nearly 30 years, SCWOP has been working to improve the lives of destitute elders and orphaned grandchildren. Based in Addis Ababa SCWOP provides a basic monthly pension to help cover essentials such as food, clothes and medical bills for themselves and, if they are responsible for them, for their grandchildren.
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