News / Africa

Diaspora Activist: Health Care Project in Ethiopia a Success

Asfaha Hadera of African Services Committee says funding still a concern

Ashenafi Abedje

The U.S.-based African Services Committee (ASC) says its HIV Prevention and Treatment project in Ethiopia has proved highly successful.  ASC director Asfaha Hadera said the program, which was launched eight years ago in the capital, Addis Ababa, is multi-faceted.

“It’s a one stop,” said Hadera. “It is counseling and testing, it is treatment, an outreach, reproductive health, family planning, nutrition, income generating activities for destitute mothers and their children.”

Hadera expressed gratitude to those who have been encouraging and helping ASC fulfill its mission. That so much has been accomplished with such limited resources is “magic and a blessing,” he said.

The funding for his organization, he said, comes from contributions by “generous Americans, United Nations Population Fund, as well as Ethiopia’s St. George Brewery and Castle Wineries.” Hadera said ASC has also partnered with the U.S. firm iTech on “mobile counseling and testing” activities.

The Ethiopian-born humanitarian activist said regional and federal health bureaus in Ethiopia have been supportive of his group’s project. He expressed hope that ASC’s efforts will be further recognized down the road so “we get our fair share and we can do more and better.”

In addition to the project in Ethiopia, CSI addresses the needs of newcomers in the United States. It provides health, housing, legal, educational, and social services to about 10,000 people a year.

African Services Committee was founded in 1981 in New York’s Harlem district. Hadera reflects on what inspired him to launch the organization.

“When I came [to the US] as a political refugee in 1979, there was no organization to guide and walk us through the system, access us to social security, healthcare, housing, employment and so forth.”

He couldn’t just stand by and watch, he said, and he decided he should fill the void. He said he launched his ambitious project by taking baby steps. “The program was initiated in my own small apartment.“

Hadera said his group’s efforts got a boost when “the Unitarian Universalist Society’s Community Church of New York offered us free office space in Manhattan.” But he said funding was in short supply.

The Ethiopian-born activist said nearly 30 years after its founding, resources remain a concern for the African Services Committee and its ever-increasing projects. All the same, Hadera said, he takes pride in what he and his colleagues have accomplished both in the United States and in Africa. He credits his wife, Kim Nichols, for her “unflinching support“ for the cause.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More