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Volume 10, No. 3WINTER 2007

IOCC Brings First-Time Medical Care for Woliso, Ethiopia

On a trip to Ethiopia with Constantine M. Triantafilou, Bishop ANDONIOS was able to see firsthand IOCC’s work in that country. IOCC recently completed the construction of a medical clinic in Woliso through a grant by the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society. Photo credit: IOCC Ethiopia

Woliso, Ethiopia — Modern medical care for expectant mothers is nonexistent in many parts of Africa. But the residents of Woliso, Ethiopia will now be able to receive such care along with preventive medicine for malaria, typhoid, dysentery, and other common African ailments. IOCC has recently completed the construction of a free medical clinic in Woliso, a western highlands town 77 miles from the capital city of Addis Ababa with a population of about 37,000.

The medical clinic, whose construction was funded by the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society and a group of private donors, will have a full-time staff of one physician, two nurses and one lab technician. “We are expecting this clinic to receive hundreds of patients every day because the clinic will mean access to medical assistance for people – particularly children – who have no access for basic medical problems,” said IOCC Head of Office Thomas Kivlan.

The clinic, which was constructed in cooperation with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s humanitarian arm, DICAC, will treat children for common illnesses such as diarrhea and parasites caused primarily by poor hygienic conditions. The clinic will also offer workshops for mothers to improve their families’ sanitary habits. “I am thankful to God that I was able to be part of this project which will positively impact the lives of so many children,” says His Grace ANDONIOS, Bishop of Phasiane and Director of the Department of Philanthropy at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. “I am deeply grateful to Philoptochos and those individuals who generously responded to this need, and I hope that this will be the first of many projects we do on the African continent,” he continued.

Philoptochos: A Shared Vision of
Philanthropy Through the Church

It was 1994. The war in Bosnia was raging and IOCC Executive Director & CEO, Constantine M. Triantafilou, then a field worker, was running humanitarian supplies from IOCC’s Belgrade office into Bosnia using a 20-year-old Zastava. When the car was stolen he could no longer reach the refugees who were in dire need. But all it took was one phone call to his hometown of Houston and the local chapter of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society to get IOCC back on the road. On the other end of that emergency call was Martha Stefanidakis, the Houston Philoptochos chapter president. “Replacing that car was probably the very first thing that Philoptochos did for IOCC,” recalls Stefanidakis, “but our trust in IOCC was so complete that the funds would be used effectively that it was easy to bring a resolution to the national convention in 2000 to get our support for IOCC to be at the national level.” Since then, Philoptochos has provided a total of almost $500,000 in support of IOCC programs that focus on children in need and the handicapped in Jerusalem, Georgia, Albania, the U.S., and Southeast Asia. “The Philoptochos Society is honored and privileged to be able to support many of these timely programs and we look forward to working together in future endeavors with IOCC, to further our shared vision of philanthropy through the Church,” says Georgia Skeadas, Philoptochos National President.

Successful HIV/AIDS Program Extended

IOCC recently announced a $7.8 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that will extend and expand its activities in Ethiopia through 2011. IOCC has been working in partnership with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s humanitarian agency, DICAC, to combat HIV/AIDS since 2004. More than 7 million Ethiopians have received training in HIV/AIDS prevention, and more than 22,000 individuals who have AIDS, and those who have been orphaned by the disease, have received food, clothing, and start-up funds for small businesses. Ethiopia recently reported that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS had been reduced from 2.2% in 2004 to 2.1% in 2007.


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