During our time in Addis Ababa, we had the opportunity to meet with Children's Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS) Regional Director for Africa, Asnake Amanuel. Asnake has spent the last five years creating one of the world's most innovative and exceptional international adoption programs in Ethiopia. Now, his attention has turned to expanding the mission of CHSFS to attack the root problems that lead to the need for adoption: health, eduction and family development.
On a tour of the organization's programs, CHSFS representatives highlighted their initiatives in both areas. For example, we got to visit The CHSFS Sipara Special Mother & Child Health (MCH) Center. This new facility, complete with a full-service hospital, went operational in October 2007.
The Sipara Center is providing services to needy families in Addis Ababa city at a low fee not even sufficient to cover its operating costs. The range of services rendered includes pre-natal care, post-natal care, wide range of reproductive health services and voluntary counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS. Sipara has five main departments with different subdivisions under each department; Outpatient, Inpatient, MCH, Diagnostic and pharmacy departments. The facility has a full-inventory pharmacy.
In its first full year of operation (2008), Sipara provided 16,222 out patient 1322 inpatient, 1072 delivery, 9648 antenatal care (ANC), 7083 immunization services to mothers and children. Recently, the facility has achieved a steady pediatric outpatient and emergency out patient departments (OPDs) service load of 70 patients daily, makING Sipara one of the busiest health institutions in the city.
We also had the opportunity to visit CHSFS Africa's new private school in Addis Ababa. This institution has a campus complete with it's own stadium-sized athletic facility. The school teaches a modern curriculum in English to over 400 students for Addis Ababa and the surrounding region. The school provides education to families in need, as well as charges tuitions of city families seeking a top-notch eduction. This fusion approach to the institution is one of CHSFS's attempts at a more entreprenuerial, self-sufficient model of social improvement.
The organization also maintains schools in rural regions, including a school in Ottoro. They are currently constructing a new school in Medula, a village in the southern Tembaro portion of the country.
For more information on the activities of CHSFS Africa and how you can get involved, visit their website.