Whenever I visit an IOCC project site, I'm amazed by the impact a small change can make. And Ethiopia is a place where a little goes a very long way.
Over the years, we've shared stories of how your gifts have helped improve lives in Ethiopia, where so many live with poverty and illnesses like podoconiosis (podo for short), a tropical disease that causes debilitating and painful swelling of the feet. The needs are great, and you've made an important impact:
|Do you remember Belete, who was born without legs and couldn't get to school each day? He now has a custom wheelchair and attends school, where he can learn and play with other kids his age.|
|Do you remember Selenat, who received her first pair of shoes at age 7? She's less likely to develop podo now, since she understands its cause—and she tells her friends.|
|Do you remember Father Sewinet, an Orthodox priest and farmer who learned about IOCC's podo treatment from another priest? He recovered and returned to work on his family farm—and to his parish.|
|Do you remember Tamiru, a trained physiotherapist, healthcare worker, and university educator in Gondar? He's now trained in WHO standards for customizing wheelchairs for people with disabilities, and he teaches those standards to his students.|
These people, whom you've helped gain access to mobility and to better health, are just a few of the millions you've assisted in Ethiopia since IOCC began work there in 2003. There are so many more: refugees fleeing neighboring countries, residents of Ethiopian communities around those refugee camps, farmers whose crops and livestock and livelihoods have been decimated by drought, job seekers with disabilities. The list goes on.
You've been central to all this work. And as we build on it, much remains to be done.
Will you be part of IOCC's continued efforts in Ethiopia?
Job-skills training in technology and trades, combined with job fairs and awareness sessions, connects people with disabilities with employers and opportunities to earn a living and increase their independence.
A pair of shoes can protect a child from developing podoconiosis—so she'll stay in school and have a chance for a brighter future.
A latrine and access to safe water can stem disease in refugee camps.
A bar of soap and a few hours of self-treatment training equip an adult to regain his or her health and livelihood, and even their place in the community.
Access to a professionally fitted wheelchair equips a person who faces mobility challenges to play a more active role in their family and social circles.
We can do even more together, with your help. We have a chance in Ethiopia to build on IOCC's 15+ years of experience there to offer new opportunities—and new hope— to people facing illness, stigma, displacement, and disaster.
Please consider donating to keep IOCC's work in Ethiopia going. Every gift makes an important difference to someone.
Thank you for your continued support.
In faith and hope,
Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director and CEO
P.S. Your gift to IOCC's Ethiopia projects will offer hope to people in need—through access to health services, job training, education, and more. Please give today.