|Volume 8, No. 3||WINTER 2005|
Projects Have Life-Changing Effects in Ethiopia
On a visit to Ethiopia, Bishop Andonios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
witnessed the life-changing effects of IOCC projects administered in
partnership with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) “In all my travels, both in the United States and abroad in various countries, I am not sure that I have ever witnessed more pious, simple, loving people, than those I encountered in Ethiopia. They have a living Orthodox faith that allows them to cope with the many hardships that confront them on a daily basis,” observed His Grace Bishop Andonios, Director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese office of Philanthropy, after his visit to Ethiopia earlier this year.
Bishop Andonios accompanied IOCC Executive Director, Constantine Triantafilou and IOCC Board Chair Bert Moyar and his wife Marjorie on a week-long trip at the end of March 2005, to better understand the work of IOCC in Ethiopia. His Grace was able to meet with many officials of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, including His Holiness Patriarch Paulos of Ethiopia, gain a better understanding of the critical work that IOCC accomplishes in Ethiopia, and learn of new opportunities for continued work in the country.
“I came to appreciate not only how effective IOCC is in working with the Ethiopian Church but how far even a modest amount of money can go in an area where the average yearly income is just a little over $100.
In addition to the massive HIV/AIDS education and prevention project that IOCC and the Church runs, I saw how small irrigation, urban farming, and other projects can have equally life-changing effects,” the Bishop noted.
In his capacity as advisor to the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, His Grace was able to share his first-hand experiences of the trip with the Philoptochos members and urge their continued support of IOCC in general and its Ethiopian projects in particular.
His Grace concluded, “Responding to need like I saw in Ethiopia is not only our Orthodox Christian responsibility, but also a privilege. In these dire situations, where our Orthodox people see other faith groups responding with multi-million dollar programs of aid, it is imperative that they see that their own Church has not forgotten them, but is present giving them hope and help. If we, as Orthodox, are unwilling to fill these voids of need, then certainly others will step in and do so. IOCC is our Orthodox vehicle to express our love toward God and our neighbor and I wholeheartedly encourage us all to use this vehicle to live out our Orthodox faith.”
|Expressions of Love for Our Neighbor
In 2005, the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society gave unprecedented support to IOCC for projects in four countries, including:
- $51,903 in funding to provide assistance for Tsunami victims in South Asia;
- Participation in a $60,000 project in the Republic of Georgia to provide 280 wheelchairs and vocational training for disabled children;
- $50,000 gift to provide emergency relief for Hurricane survivors along the Gulf Coast of the U.S.;
- $35,000 for the construction of a medical clinic in Ambo, Ethiopia from proceeds from 10th Annual Medical Fund Luncheon in Dec. 2005;
- A pledge of $25,000 to build a new school next to the medical clinic in Ambo, Ethiopia.
IOCC is grateful to Philoptochos, and other organizations, that have made extraordinary efforts to fund IOCC projects throughout the world. This type of funding is critical in meeting the needs of special projects that IOCC
undertakes every year.