Thursday, April 3, 2008
History of the area/ current situation: Entoto is a mountain located just in the north side of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Addis Ababa is the second most populated city in Africa with more than 6 million people living in it. In the minds of many, Ethiopia is restricted to the images of the devastating famine of the 1980’s, marathon athletes, and the last monarch – Emperor Haile Sellassie (also known as Ras Tafari). However, behind these images lies a long, rich and complicated history that dates back to biblical times. Ethiopia is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It is one of the few countries in the world that was never colonized other than the invasion of Italy for a short period of time.
The people of mount Entoto come from all over the villages of Ethiopia to the church of St Mary’s on the very top of the mountain. Once the people reach the top of the mountain there are over four individually fenced complexes with approximately 80 rooms each available for rent. These complexes house more than 500 people who have come to the church of St Mary hoping to be baptized and healed. Over 60% of Ethiopia is orthodox Christian. The people of mount Entoto come to the church of St Mary because the church and holy water of St Mary is known all over Ethiopia for its healing. It is also known for the miracles it has performed over the years. The people of mount Entoto come with all kinds of illnesses, over 60% are HIV/ AIDS positive. The Ethiopian Government supplies free ART (anti retro medication) for anyone who has diagnosis paper showing that they have tested positive for HIV/ AIDS, but the Ethiopian government cannot supply food for everyone. ART has to be taken with food or not taken at all. The problem for the people of Entoto is not just lack of food but also shelter, and clean water. The complexes in which they live in do not have access to clean water. Other than the HIV positive there are over 100 people who are mentally ill. The only way the church has been able to keep them in control has been to keep them chained up. The mentally ill of Entoto are usually chained to a tree or have both their feet chained together the entire day. Most of the children of mount Entoto do not go to school because they are HIV positive; and the stigma that many Ethiopians have with HIV positive person keeps the children from wanting to go to school.
What is the project: The mount Entoto project is a new project that started one year ago. The plan of the project is to provide HIV/ AIDS education, education on sanitation, provide access to medication, provide access to food and water, and to make the community a self sufficient community.
The goal of the project: The goal of the project is the establishment of a system that makes the community self-sufficient. Making the community no longer reliant on outside sources to meet its basic needs.
Method of execution: In order to meet the project goal these are required:
· Providing the community with education
· Food and Water
· Disinfecting materials
· Access to medical care
-Doctors and Nurses
Need and Usage of funds: The lack of self-sufficiency creates a need for the people of mount Entoto who are from various rural villages not have access to money from NGO’s in Ethiopia. Many NGO’S in Ethiopia require the person who is receiving/ inquiring for aid to have at least a birth certificate, but many people from villages do not have birth certificates nor do they know their ages. Therefore they are not receiving aid from anyone. That is why most of them are in need of immediate help. All the funds collected will be used to fulfill the above stated goal of this project.