Category Archives: Health

Day for Girls

Seven high school aged girls  traveled to Dera and on the International Day of the Girl Child met with similarly aged Ethiopian girls.  These teenagers discussed the blessings and challenges of womanhood and taught one another how to live true to their potential.

The American girls then broke the taboo subject of feminine hygiene and proper health care before distributing hygiene kits.

Thank you to Big Ocean Women for preparing and sharing the kits; they are changing lives by enabling girls to attend school without fear of embarrassment.

The Unexpected Gift for Ayub

IMG_1994Dr. Jeff Roberson, a volunteer dentist, was taking a few minutes for lunch during a busy day in the Dera Dental Clinic. With lines of people waiting, he noticed a young girl with a baby on her back who’s foot was badly burned. He was compelled to reach out and help this little boy, 1 1/2 years old who’s eyes were full of pain and suffering. After local health workers could not help, Dr Roberson got a private taxi for Ayub and his mother, Gishu and got them to a larger city and hospital where he paid not only for treatment but in addition, money for the family that was lost from selling at the market.  For many families, if they do not sell at the market for the day, they do no eat for the day.  It is these individual moments of personal connection that deeply impact the hearts of everyone there.

Families Work Together Building in Ethiopia

School desk & benchThis spring seven different families worked side by side in Ethiopia building relationships in the process. Some travelled with parents, some with teenagers and others with a spouse working on a variety of projects. Two mother and son teams built 75 benches and desks for the kindergarten school.
IMG_0731
Several dentists brought family members who worked in the dental clinic including teenagers who got to see their parents at work professionally while serving the people of Dera.

Work Continues Amidst Drought

WORST DROUGHT IN 50 YEARS, BUT DERA HAS FOOD

Situated on the edge of the most drastically affected region of the worst drought in 50 years, Dera is the staging area for world food international aid trucks. Dera however has water and food, thanks to so many of you who supported Hope Arising in the 20 mile water pipeline. Today, that pipeline is literally a life line as water is diverted to crops for food and continues to quench the thirst of thousands in Dera.

IMG_20160329_125227

 


IMG_0616

A NEW KINDERGARTEN IN DERA

There are over 400 children age 4 just in the Dilfekar School area and no where to go to school. Hope Arising, in partnership with Dera Town leaders who are donating the land, is constructing a new public kindergarten school that will serve over 500 children. Volunteers began work on new benches and desks for the school this past spring trip. Efforts for money to begin construction are underway if you are able to help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Horgesheimer doing sealants for children at Dilfakar Elementary

 

 

 

 

 

DENTISTS RELIEVE PAIN & DO SEALANTS FOR CHILDREN

Dr. Horgesheimer reaches out to children at Dilfakar Elementary doing 150 sealants and sending others with pain to the health clinic where the dental team can treat them. Doctors included Dr. Jason Horgesheimer, Dr. Micah Mortensen, Dr. Greg Mortensen, Dr. Bryan Christensen, Dr. Jeff Roberson and Dr. Jeremy Miller. Together their team helped hundreds who suffered pain and infections. Local dental students from Addis Ababa University worked side by side helping with procedures and translation.

Successful March trip

IMG_0558sized

We had a great spring trip to Dera!  We painted a wing of the health clinic, updated the computers in the high school and visited the schools.  We are excited for a new toilet in the Hope Arising bathroom!  That is good news for all team travelers.

We were able to view several gardens that are going strong in Dera.  The high school has furrowed their plot and is moving forward.  Dera #1 presented a Stay Alive play for us, showing they know the risks and danger of HIV/AIDS.

We had 3 energetic teenagers who taught several classes on nutrition and how to make tippy-taps (hand-washing stations out of a water bottle).  Joe taught the high-school computer classes how basic programming skills can lead to jobs online.

We visited the orphanage in Nazret and donated some clothes and toys.  The school is close by so we were able to play there for a few hours.  It was hard to tear ourselves away!

 

Eye doctor serves record number

Our state-of-the-art recording keeping system shows how many eye patients were seen by Dr. Wilson in Dera.  Each finger keeps a running total by day- 237 patients seen the first day, 301 patients seen the second day (for a total of 538), and 198 patients seen the third day, for a grand total of 736 patients.  WOW!!!  He diagnosed 49 cases of trachoma, which can cause blindness within a year, but is easily treated with a Z-pack of antibiotics.

HA Oct 2013 Trip_043smaller

 

Our dental team dazzles Awash

We were amazed by how much our  dental team could do in 3 days in Awash, a village just north of Dera.   Our fearless leader and one of the dentists, Chet, was even stuck dealing with bureaucrats for 2 of the days.  We had Jenet and Lydia, our local dentist friends come from Addis to help us.  Between all of them working with support staff of Darlene, Peggy, Valerie, Linzi, Tyler & Braxton, they were able to service 355 dental patients, including extracting 570 teeth!   Way to go!

dental team w flowers in Awash

Giving Thanks for Sight

In October, Dr Chet Jenkins made his annual fall trek to Ethiopia. Along with dental services, he introduced Dera to Drs Jon Wilson and Scott Kowallis, optometrists and his childhood friends. In turn, Dr Wilson brought his son, Turner, and Kowallis brought his wife, Sue, to be assistants to their first-of-many-to-come eye clinics. As with any pioneering adventure, their experiences were both unexpected and rewarding. Two grueling days spent by our country director, Betty, in negotiations with customs over equipment and medication added a little stress but could not thwart the determination of these fine folks from offering their services. The response to the much-needed eye services was overwhelming. Word travels fast in rural communities about the opportunity to see a doctor and people came in droves. Our garden expert, Bob Johnson, when not planting, spent his time managing the crowd and keeping order. Problems concerning the eyes are prevalent in this area due to several contributing factors; malnourishment, contaminated water, poor ventilation with cooking fires, and disease.

Drs Wilson and Kowallis knew they would be faced with surprises on their adventure to Ethiopia, however they were unprepared for the shocking occurrence of an eye disease called “trachoma”. Never heard of it? Because it was eradicated in the industrialized world by the 1950’s. Trachoma is an infectious disease, resulting in blindness if neglected. Ironically, it can easily be treated with antibiotics or simple surgery. Ethiopia has one of the highest occurrences of trachoma in the developing world, with women being three times more likely to be affected. A few of the root causes of trachoma are poor hygiene, poverty and inadequate sanitation; all of which exist in Dera. It is no mystery why villagers were clamoring to get in to see the eye doctors. Along with assessing sight and giving out prescription glasses, Wilson and Kowallis treated trachoma patients with antibiotics. You cannot put a price tag on the gift of sight. It is “clear to see” that Wilson and Kowallis have already made a huge difference in Dera. And this is only the beginning.

where there are no orphanages

Most orphans do not live in orphanages.

With nearly 6 million children orphaned in Ethiopia, the solution lies in strengthening families and communities to care for these children within the local households. Often a grandmother, aunt, neighbor or older sibling struggle to care for young children. Food is often scarce and school fees difficult to come by.

Family capacity is increased through participation in our Thrive Together program. Struggling households work in peer groups to set goals that will increase healthy habits, literacy and school enrollment and ultimately have an income generating activity. Over time, with knowledge and support, these households progress from a state of crisis to stability and hope in the care of their families.

my friend marta

One of the great things about returning to Dera, Ethiopia for the 3rd time in one year is the friendships. We’re all beginning to be familiar with one another.

I love it, love it, love it.

Last March I met a woman that has forever changed my life.

This picture was taken at our first meeting… the day after her toddler son had died.

Her blind husband was off to bury the child. She couldn’t go, she is too sick… she is HIV positive. You can see my grief in this picture (I try so hard to conceal my emotions but I had lost control)… but not nearly as great as hers.

This is her 7 year old son, Abi. He has tuberculosis.

But a smile to capture any heart.

We were able to provide her and her family with food and some money each month. (about $20)

Needless to say, she was one of the first people I wanted to see when we arrived a few weeks ago. I was so anxious to see her, not knowing what to expect or how I would find her.

Imagine my JOY when my dear friend wrapped her tiny arms around me- healthy, happy, and FULL of LIFE. What’s more, imagine hearing her words (though foreign and through a translator) telling me that we had saved her life.

She said that the day we met her she had laid down to die, having told God that if she was to live she needed an angel.

We arrived about an hour later.

She knows that her life was spared.

She and her husband passionately presented a business plan to me, soliciting a small loan in the amount of $350 to start a hay business. They believe this is the beginning of better days for them.

Would you like to help support Marta?

You can make a donation of any amount to Hope Arising. When I exceed this goal, we’ll apply your donation to another friend of mine.

I have many.

Here’s a picture of Abi now: (Please note the shape of his head and the light in his eyes. It’s amazing what food and medicine can do! And note that I am clearly the happiest in Ethiopia.)

Jennifer Brinkerhoff
July 2010