Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ethiopian Global Initiative Announces U.S. College Students for Ethiopia Class of 2011

Cambridge, Mass., USA, May 31, 2011 – The Ethiopian Global Initiative (EGI), today, unveiled its first group of college students that are traveling to Ethiopia from the United States under its newly launched project, U.S. College Students for Ethiopia (USCSE). 

USCSE aims to combat the shortage of skilled professionals in Ethiopia by encouraging both Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian students from the United States to volunteer and intern in Ethiopia, as a way to reverse “brain drain” and promote consciousness of service in Ethiopia. The final students, selected on their merits and desire to work in Ethiopia, were chosen from a highly competitive U.S.-wide application pool of students.

On the occasion of announcing the first USCSE cohort, the Class of 2011, Project Manager Yordanos Eyoel expressed her excitement at the possibilities ahead for EGI and the students. “I am exceptionally proud of USCSE’s inaugural class! These are talented students from some of the best universities in the country and it is inspiring to see their commitment to give back to Ethiopia. They certainly will add tremendous value to their host organizations.”

USCSE brings students from the United States to Ethiopia, working with locally based Ethiopian public and private sector organizations. While in Ethiopia, the students will undertake a collaborative project with counterpart students from the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia’s flagship public university. USCSE aims to build longstanding relationships between students from the United States and Ethiopia through its efforts to tackle the “brain drain” problem. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Infant Deaths Drop After Midwives Undergo Inexpensive Training

Lynn Johnson/National Geographic, via Getty Images
By: Samuel M. Gebru
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Training midwives is very important to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. 

A recent New York Times article by Donald G. McNeil, Jr., entitled Infant Deaths Drop After Midwives Undergo Inexpensive Training, underscores the importance and progressive results of training traditional midwives in modern medicine. 

McNeil highlights studies that have been conducted with Zambian midwives, concluding that relatively inexpensive training programs can produce results that save hundreds and thousands of lives. 

In Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Global Initiative is continuing its six-year partnership with Hamlin Fistula International by providing full scholarships for eight students at the Hamlin College of Midwives in Ethiopia. The 2011-2015 project is relatively inexpensive when compared with undergraduate education in the United States. 

EGI will fully fund eight students at $4,000 per student per year. That means for $16,000, EGI will be able to fully fund one student that will, in turn, impact the lives of hundreds and thousands of rural Ethiopian mothers-to-be. That's about $140,000 for four years.

Instead of curing obstetric fistula, or funding it, EGI and the Hamlin College of Midwives are focusing on solving the root causes of obstetric fistula: lack of maternal healthcare and lack of awareness. 

By supporting the Ethiopian Global Initiative's Midwives Scholarship Fund, you will help EGI fund the training of Ethiopian midwives to earn a Bachelor of Science degree. Saving lives is as easy as clicking here and making a donation. 

Samuel M. Gebru, an undergraduate student at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, serves as President of the Ethiopian Global Initiative.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Celebrating the Midwives that make Healthy Mothers

An Ethiopian midwife visits a pregnant
patient at home. Ethiopia. (Source)
By: Abel Tadesse
Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Ethiopian Global Initiative (EGI) continues its efforts in meeting the objectives outlined in the Midwives Scholarship Fund (MSF). On this day May 5, 2011 the MSF team echoes its support for the celebration of International Day of the Midwife, recognizing all midwives throughout the globe.

Midwives play critical role during and after pregnancy to the mother as well as to the newborn and family. They are key to reaching out to the communities especially in developing countries where there is limited access to health care professionals.

As we celebrate the International Day of the Midwife, we need to make a note that there is a momentous amount of work that needs to be done surrounding access to education to midwives and other healthcare professionals.

The World Health Organization Assistant Director, Dr. Flavia Bustreo, released a statement today addressing the importance of strengthening the midwives workforce throughout the world. Dr. Bustreo further explained that it is no question that we need to accelerate our focus to reinforce the need to meet the Millennium Development Goals Four and Five as the statistics show a high prevalence of maternal and child mortality rate; 350,000 women and 3.6 million newborns die each year globally.

EGI is working to support MDGs Four and Five through the Midwives Scholarship Fund. Through this project, we plan to provide full scholarships to students at the Hamlin College of Midwives in Ethiopia, where students will complete a four-year program to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery.

There is no doubt that this project will increase education access to midwives, mothers, families and communities throughout Ethiopia and in result a decrease in maternal and child deaths.

Abel Tadesse holds a Master of Health Sciences from George Mason University. He is Project Manager of the EGI Midwives Scholarship Fund.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Celebrating EGI at New York's Awash

Assistant Project Manager Blayne M. Tesfaye (R) poses
with an attendee. (See photos here)
By: Blayne M. Tesfaye
Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On Sunday night, I attended the Ethiopian Global Initiative’s (EGI) New York Fundraiser and Networking Mixer. Besides being a great opportunity to meet others interested in the work EGI does, the mixer also provided a chance to fundraise for U.S. College Students for Ethiopia (USCSE), an EGI project for which I am Assistant Project Manager.

The Awash Ethiopian Restaurant, which was generous enough to donate a portion of the night’s proceeds to USCSE, hosted the mixer. After we had a chance to eat the amazing Ethiopian food (mm…doro wat!) Samuel Gebru, EGI’s President, spoke about how EGI came to be and its importance as a global organization aiming to bring about transformation in Ethiopia.

I then had the chance to express what I think is the significance of a program like USCSE, which gives American and Ethiopian-Americans the chance to explore internships with Ethiopian-led organizations in Addis Ababa. As Samuel put it, these students and the new connections they make with Ethiopian students can play an important role in reversing the “brain-drain” of professionals from Ethiopia to Europe and the U.S.

After speaking to the group, I had some amazing individual discussions with attendees. It was great to be able to discuss the work that the USCSE team has been working hard on with people who were full of encouragement and great ideas. Many of the mixer attendees took a keen interest in USCSE’s work and were incredibly willing to do anything they could to help out with our work in whichever way they could. It was really special to have friends and family, both my own and others’, come to the mixer and really engage with EGI.

Blayne M. Tesfaye, Assistant Project Manager of EGI’s U.S. College Students for Ethiopia, is a graduating senior at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Important Information

© 2010 Ethiopian Global Initiative, Inc. Material may be republished with credit to this blog and/or the original author. The views and comments expressed in this blog are not necessarily those of the Ethiopian Global Initiative, Inc.