We conducted our Second Medical and Humanitarian Mission in Guder! We spent a week working at New Hope School orphanage and the Guder Hospital. A group that accomplished many things:
- We met with the University of Ambo president Dr Mitiku Tesso Jebessa and agreed to work together on future projects, which eventually will help New Hope School, the local community and Ambo University.
- We met with Dr Kebede Legesse, Assistant Professor for the College of Medicine. With Dr Bebede’s help we will establish medical clinics at the Guder Hospital, which opened last month, and will also see if we can also get involved at the new Ambo Hospital, which will be opening this fall. Our Medical Teams will be working together with the local Doctors, Medical and Nursing Students, Pharmacists and other medical personnel during our visits to Guder on future bi-yearly trips
- We were fortunate to have Mr Nikhil Patel, originally from Texas, help us this month in Guder. Nik is currently a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia and will be there for another year. He was extremely helpful and instrumental, in organizing our medical clinics and in establishing contacts with the Medical School and with the University of Ambo.
- During our week long clinic visit at the New Guder Hospital, we saw over 650 patients! We had local nursing students and over 150 medical students from the University of Ambo, working with us. In the afternoons, we gave these students, different medical subspecialty lectures which were well received.
- We had a fun and relaxed Sunday Clinic at New Hope School and saw all the children staying at the orphanage. We examined and treated them accordingly. In the future, with the Ambo College of Medicine, we will conduct clinics at nearby Guder Hospital and will keep an eye on these children. On our future New Hope Sunday’s clinics, which will focus on pediatrics, starting in November we will see if we can examine additional 150 vulnerable children who attend New Hope School. We will gladly see the other 200??? children, if their parents agree.
- Some of the translators used at the Guder Hospital were older children from New Hope School. They came in the afternoons, after classes. The hospital is walking distance from the school. They had previously expressed interest in becoming doctors and nurses. These children were very attentive and hungry to learn. Their first exposure to American medicine and honestly we saw a lot of potential among them. We were very impressed with their mannerism and eagerness to learn.
- We provided 8 more laptops to the school project and our official number so far has climbed to 39, and counting . The teachers, school principal and the director of the orphanage were very pleased. Our goal is now to hire new IT teachers to start educating these children as early as possible. Earlier than any schools in Ethiopia.
- Alan Serafin, our electrician, installed 4 motion detector solar lights at the sleeping quarters. The children were extremely grateful and happy. The first night they gathered around the lights and played games. It was very moving to see them. We will bring more of these lights on future trips.
- An additional 20 Luci solar rechargeable lanterns. The older kids, house moms and school principal are now using them at night, to study and read. Again, the children are no longer in the dark during the frequent power shortages. We will supply more to children who cannot sleep at New Hope, so they can make it safely home in the dark.
- We provided 10 “top of the line”, Texas Instruments calculators for our future engineers and high school graduates. The children also have now over 50 smaller, basic calculators, which they will learn to master, before they graduate to the bigger or more advanced ones.
- A second overhead projector to the school. Similar to the one we brought last year. Some of the classes will be given, with the help of the laptops and these projectors. We will borrow these projectors for our our medical lectures and presentations.
- The children at the school can now play with their new volleyball net and the new soccer goals. It gives them a sense of pride and lots of joy. The teacher director of physical education has also 4 professional referee flags, to make games more official.
- Hundreds of additional school supplies, books, pencils, notebooks, educational DVD’s were distributed among school children.
- The girls have new shelves where they can have their clothes at, no longer kept under their beds.
- Alan, in addition to making those shelves for the girls dormitory and getting the solar lights installed, worked for days on fixing the water pump, which has been a problem in view of failure of electrical power supply, not uncommon in Ethiopia. He was a huge blessing to New Hope. The children at New Hope were also very hungry to learn from him.
- Of interest: The local Ethiopian TV interviewed us, as we conducted our clinic at the Guder Hospital. We had left town before it was aired, but the interview went well.
Last November of 2014 we had over 18 volunteers from all over the U S. Together we had our First Medical and Humanitarian Mission. We owe a lot to that group which was a pioneer in this endeavor. This month’s group was extremely important as well, as it has created the foundation for future medical clinics and for additional volunteers from all fields of life.
Preparation is underway already for our next mission in November of 2015. Everyone is welcome to participate in any way they can and be part of this endeavor.