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Latest Publication


A Mom's Testimonial May 2012

The following statement recently reached IFA by email. It was from Sarah Stiltner, the mother of an adopted Ethiopian baby treated by the medical staff at Yekatit 12 hospital in Ethiopia, in December 2009. Sarah's words speak of the power of making every little difference we can; even small actions have great implications:

"My daughter was orphaned and left at the Yekatit 12 hospital in December 2009, where she spent a month in the NICU there...I realized that it was due to your organization's generous support and donations that my daughter is still alive. I will never be able to thank you enough for what you have done for my daughter, as well as so many other infants in the beautiful country of Ethiopia. Thank you so, so much."
--Sarah Stiltner

A Little Goes a Long Way March 2012

The enormity of the world's problems sometimes makes us feel helpless to create our own change. Gelila Woodeneh, Communication Officer of The World Bank, Africa Region, discovered how a small contribution can go a long way in saving a child's life. During IFA's Medical Mission to Zemero, Ethiopia, from February 24-March 6, 2012, the IFA medical staff detected a potentially life-threatening inguinal hernia in three-year-old Asalif. When Woodeneh volunteered to sponsor Asalif's medical treatment, he was able to get the surgery he needed to correct this serious medical condition. Read her story, below:

I love children. I've been fortunate to meet thousands of wonderful children during my travels in remote areas of Ethiopia. When I travel, I make it a point to take with me clothes, bread, pens, pencils, and notebooks to give to some of these kids. While I was happy that these items temporarily fulfilled some of their material needs, what always saddened me was that I couldn't do more to help address the biggest obstacles they were facing as a result of the extreme poverty they live in. The majority of these children are severely malnourished and also suffer from various diseases that could be easily cured with proper medical attention. Unfortunately, many of them die because their parents cannot afford to get them the medical treatment they need.
For all these reasons, I have always wanted to do my share in improving their chance of survival--but I didn't know where to start.

The opportunity to make a difference in the life of these children presented itself during IFA's most recent medical mission, to the rural town of Zemero, Ehtiopia, from February 24-March 6, 2012. I told Seble, IFA's VP, that I was interested in sponsoring a child. A day later, she informed me that there was a little boy who needed help. With just a little effort, I came to be the proud sponsor of Asalif, a chubby three-year-old boy who is the youngest of five children and lives with his family in a small village a two days' walk away from Zemero. Since birth, Asalif suffered from a potentially life-threatening condition known as inguinal hernia. Asalif and his mother were among thousands who came to Zemero seeking medical attention from IFA's team. However, due to the severity of his condition, he was referred to Addis Ababa for surgery. Asalif had a successful surgery and is now back in his village. He is fully recovered and for the first time in his life, he is enjoying doing all the activities that a healthy child his age should do. I never thought that saving the life of a child would be so easy or so cheap.

To me, sponsoring a child medically--enabling them to walk, or see, or lead a healthy life--is a great gift not only to the child and his family but to myself. Contributing towards the well-being of Asalif is an incredible reminder to me of how fortunate my kids are to have good health and access to medical care.
If you have considered sponsoring a child's medical treatment but think that you cannot afford it or don't have all the funds, think again! How much does it cost to save the life of a three-year-old boy? Less than the price of a pair of shoes! The satisfaction I got from knowing that my sponsorship saved his life? Priceless!
--Gelila Woodeneh
Communication Officer
The World Bank, Africa Region

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