Since initiating small-scale activities in 2003, IOCC has worked in close cooperation with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter Church Aid Commission (EOC-DICAC) to improve the health and well-being of the country's families and communities by improving access to food, water, education and job opportunities, responding to natural disasters as well as initiating groundbreaking community health programs to combat the country's HIV/AIDS and podoconiosis epidemics.
PODOCONIOSIS PREVENTION AND TREATMENT — More than one million Ethiopians suffer from this debilitating disease of the feet and legs and another eleven million are at risk. Since 2009, IOCC, in collaboration with medical epidemiologist Dr. Gail Davey, has developed a scalable model to address this neglected disease with an aggressive prevention and treatment program launched in Debre Markos. With support from TOMS Shoes, IOCC has expanded its efforts to six clinic sites in the Amhara region, and provided shoes, treatment and foot care supplies with the aim of eradicating the disease in the region. Click here to learn more about our efforts to fight podo.
HIV/AIDS PREVENTION — To combat an epidemic which has left nearly one million Ethiopian children orphaned due to AIDS, IOCC implemented a nationwide education program that has reached over 12 million Ethiopian men and women with prevention and awareness messages. IOCC’s latest efforts have provided nearly 22,000 expectant mothers with HIV/AIDS screening and counseling to help prevent new infections from mother to child and improve safe motherhood. People living with the disease and orphans and vulnerable children who have been affected by HIV and AIDS have also received assistance such as food, clothing, medical care, and one-time start-up capital to create income-generating projects.
EMPOWERMENT OF THE DISABLED — IOCC is helping to bring mobility and a better quality of life to physically challenged people and their families by improving access to wheelchairs. The program provides ready access to wheelchair assembly parts and job training for production workers and wheelchair recipients, which in turn will benefit the lives of more than 18,000 of Ethiopia's disabled children, women and veterans.
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT — Enhancing the livelihood of 35,000 smallholder farmers living in Ethiopia's Amhara, Oromia and Tigray regions is the goal of an IOCC program providing agricultural training, technical support, close supervision and improved seed/vegetable stores, barns, and irrigation systems. The program also includes activities aimed at improving soil and water as well as environmental conservation.
DISASTER RELIEF — In response to the Horn of Africa drought and related famine that forced millions of Somalis to seek relief in neighboring Ethiopia, IOCC provided refugees with lifesaving nutrition and sanitation support, and constructed a secondary school to accommodate more than 500 teenaged refugees whose education was disrupted by their flight from famine.