Negesti lives in a community where the painful effects of stigma toward those who are HIV-positive are a harsh reality. She lost her husband to HIV, and then 10 years later, became ill herself and learned that she, too, was HIV-positive. With no one to care for her but her young daughter, Metasebiya, and no way to earn a living that would provide food and education for her, Negesti lost all hope.
However, after learning about her story through a government referral, Ethiopia ACT began reaching out to Negesti. They began by providing her with food, and then helping her start on ARVs. ACT also provided a water purification system that allows Negesti to regularly take her medicine with water that does not make her ill, helped enroll Metasebiya in school, and even provided Negesti with the resources she needed to start up a small business selling vegetables so she can provide for the family.
With the light in her eyes, Negesti says God was very faithful to her in leading her to Ethiopia ACT. She knows that God is on her team and will provide for her. Now, she wants others to know that they can also live and have hope with HIV.
THE ETHIOPIA ACT - BLOOD:WATER PARTNERSHIP
Through our partnership with ACT, Blood:Water has committed to minimizing and controlling the impact and spread of HIV/AIDS and improving the overall health and quality of life for residents of the Suki community, including families and individuals infected and affected by HIV. The intervention focuses on:
Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)
HIV care and prevention
Family economic strengthening
Care for orphans and vulnerable children
Through funding, technical support, and flexibility, Blood:Water made it possible for ACT to reach more than 2,387 households through its WASH program and 209 households through its HIV care and support program. Of these, 70 households graduated from the program as their living situations improved, and 391 orphans and 740 people from the community were served.
The goal of the current project (2016-2017) is to improve the quality of life for HIV-positive individuals and their families in the Nifas Silk Lofto subcity of Addis Ababa by helping to improve and maintain their health and provide support for their families. More specifically, the project will:
Ensure provision of need-based and comprehensive home-based care of HIV-positive beneficiaries in the project during the project cycle
Ensure that the basic needs, health care, education, and protection of vulnerable children in the project are met during the project cycle
Ethiopia ACT has been serving impoverished communities in Addis Ababa since 2002 under the umbrella of the Society for International Ministries (SIM). In 2003, when HIV/AIDS was at its peak, Ethiopia ACT started serving AIDS-affected families with comprehensive care as a response to the needs of the community, particularly in Lideta subcity. In the project’s second cycle, at the request of stakeholders including the Addis Ababa health bureau, Ethiopia ACT expanded its service to Bole, Kolfe Keranyo, and Nefas Silk Lafto subcities.
Following the scaling up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the country, Ethiopia ACT became a prime partner with the Addis Ababa health bureau in innovative interventions for improving and maintaining adherence to the treatment. In addition to providing staff, ACT also contributed to the improvement of patient care at the health centers’ laboratories by providing equipment and initiating basic services such as blood chemistry tests. ACT continued this work until the project officially handed over the services to the Health Bureau in 2010.
All of ACT’s interventions are based in Addis Ababa, and in the last three years, ACT, in partnership with Blood:Water, has been serving the Suki community. Suki is an informal settlement on the southwestern edge of Addis Ababa, in the Nefas Silk Lafto subcity, Woredo One. Its population is still growing, but is estimated to be 12,000 households with an average of five people per household. Most of the residents are families that have been displaced from the center of the city due to redevelopment. They have been forced to settle in under-developed areas that lack basic services.
Background: Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-1941. In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile Selassie (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.
A constitution was adopted in 1994 and Ethiopia’s first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea in the late 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. In August 2012, longtime leader, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died in office and was replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, marking the first peaceful transition of power in decades.
Country Population: 102 million
National Language: Amharic
Source: CIA Factbook 2016