Our Vision for Ethiopia
All shall unite with love, honesty and compassion to ensure the education of blind children and adults, and to end preventable blindness in Ethiopia. Visual problems are believed to be a major public health concern in Ethiopia. There are over 1.2 million blind individuals, including over 600,000 people who lost their vision from preventable causes such as cataracts, glaucoma and bacterial infection, and 2.9 million individuals are at risk of losing their vision. Ethiopia is believed to have one of the world's highest rates of blindness (1.6%) (ncbi.nim.nih.gov).
Access to a formal education is a human right, yet blind individuals in Ethiopia have limited access to education and resources that would help them to live a happy and independent life. According to Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia (since 2018) and authorities of the Ethiopian National Association of the Blind (ENAB), it is estimated that the total number of blind individuals who have access to education does not exceed 5%.
To address these crises, ADDIS Foundation For Community Health, a Minnesota-based charitable organization founded in December 2018.
ADDIS Foundation for Community Health provides education for blind individuals and strives to end preventable and treatable (avoidable) blindness in Ethiopia. Though our primary mission is educating blind individuals and preventing preventable blindness, we also understand the significance of unpreventable blindness (example: genetics and trauma) on individuals and society. Regardless of the causes, we strive towards the continual improvement of the lives of people with visual impairments .
By uniting together with love, honesty, kindness; by approaching one individual/one community at a time, we are determined to fill a need and make the world a better place for all. Together, we can move mountains!
Mission and Vision
Our mission is to ensure education for blind children and adults and to end preventable blindness in Ethiopia. We accomplish these by providing material, technical, and other support to blind individuals and by delivering healthcare services to individuals who are at risk of blindness, as well as resourcing institutions that serve these communities.
We envision blind children and adults who are equipped with primary education and skills and live a happy, independent, and productive life; and see Ethiopia, a country free from preventable blindness!
I extend my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who provided me with the moral, material, and financial support needed in establishing the organization. In the U.S, I like to extend a special gratitude to my husband Alemayehu Baykedagn Damte and our children Leah and Lydia, and my dear friends Azeb Libase, Kidist Araya, Judy Sanders, Meredith Larson, and Ingrid, who made valuable contributions, always appreciated!
Back in Ethiopia, I am grateful for the support and guidance of many people, including officials. Many thanks to my beloved brother Tesgaye (Tsegish) Argaw, my dear sister Zebi Ayele, my lifetime friends Hirut Tesfaye and Seble-Wengel Azen, and families! I highly value every person and entity who participates in this noble endeavor!
Founder and President
ADDIS Foundation for Community Health
MSN, RN-BC, PHN