Ethiopia: visit to Save the Children’s projects
A few weeks ago, we sent Sharon (a member of the supporter care team) to Ethiopia to visit some of Save the Children’s projects.
It’s important for our team to know about our projects all over the world, so it was fantastic to be able to send one of our team to see the work first-hand. Here’s what Sharon had to say about her trip:
Which part of Ethiopia did to you travel to?
After arriving in the capital, Addis Ababa, we had a 10 hour trip in a 4×4 to Dessi, where we stayed for a day before taking a 4 ½ hour trip to Kelala. A lot of our travelling was through mountains as Kelala is about 3,000 metres above sea level.
Which of Save the Children’s projects did you visit?
The first project we visited was Wogdi Health Centre, which was brilliant. I would describe it as a one-stop-shop; people can go there for family planning advice, HIV screening, immunisations and to give birth (as well as treatment rooms, there is a maternity unit and delivery room).
We also visited Wogdi Junior Elementary School, where Save the Children has been promoting WASH (Water, sanitation and hygiene).
Five pupils were selected by their peers to help promote hand washing. There are 1,400 pupils at the school and until recently there were no toilets or hand washing facilities.
Save the Children are working with the local community to build separate girls’ and boys’ toilets. They are also building hand washing facilities where the water will be recycled and used to grow vegetables which can be sold to buy soap.
Finally, we went to a Rural Health post, a centre parents can take their children to for treatment for illnesses like pneumonia. These centres are particularly important in areas where the nearest hospital is an unaffordable 45 minute taxi-ride away.
What was the highlight of your trip?
The highlight was meeting 45-year-old Zenebech at the Rural Health Post.
She’s a mother of nine and told me she wished she could have had fewer children with more space between each one.
She had brought her daughter to the centre for family planning advice as her daughter has a 10-month-old baby and wants to be able to choose when she has her next child.
It was amazing to see how our health centre is empowering women and giving them choices that they haven’t had in the past.
What did you learn from your trip?
The main thing I learnt was the importance of our Health Promoters. Communities often find it hard to trust the advice of outsiders so it is essential to have trusted people within the community who can educate their communities about health.
Finally, do you have a message for our supporters?
I would just say that all your donations no matter how small really do make a huge difference. The people I met had hope for a better future because of the work your support enables us to do.