2010 Mission Report
Jason Kelly, Warren Creates, Neville Creates, Chris Bartle.
To assess and audit projects in the field, specifically the BioSand water filter project and to continue to build partnerships with local groups involved in the development of the Afar Region. Secondly, to meet with the Samaritan Purse project representatives who are operating a similar water filter project in Southern Ethiopia.
The education projects are running well, and the students are happy with their progress and healthy. The water filter project needs to be strengthened by focusing on training and maintenance of those 55 filters already built. Filter maintenance/correction needs to be performed to ensure sustainability of the project. The refugee situation remains desperate and should now be included as a priority for our support.
2009 Mission Report
Warren Creates, Ahmed Mohammad, Joan Duguid, Frank Vassilyadi.
To continue to monitor and audit existing projects to ensure their efficiency validity, and suitability. To upgrade the water filter project by providing further training.
We had several meetings with many groups involved in the Afar Region including the UNHCR, CIDA, UNWFP and the Afar Regional government. All such meetings helped foster positive communication and a better understanding of poverty relief and aid delivery throughout the Region. We were able to build more support and awareness for our projects which led to the development of the 2nd phase of the BioSand water filter project: to build 50 filters to be used by 200 households in the village Buramudayto. We were also able to see the progress made by our 5 university students in Addis and 30 orphaned students living at the Mahi Difu boarding school in Semara. After witnessing the progress of these students and our water filter project we committed to continued support for all projects.
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2008 Mission Report
Ahmed Mohammad, Warren Creates, Victoria Henry, Joan Duguid, Neville Creates, Isla Creates, Jessika Oneid, Tara Virtue, Jamal Chehem.
To sign a memorandum of understanding with the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) as well as the Afar Regional State Government, and to transfer the Canadian BioSand Water Filter technology to the Afar Region. We would also perform further needs assessments to better identify specific projects to implement.
Both memorandums were signed signifying a welcome of our involvement in the Afar Region. Also, the water filter construction and training proved to be successful as an agreement was put in place to install 12 filters as part of a pilot project concerning our clean water initiative. Finally, 2 education projects were identified and began implementation: the support for Mahi Difu School for orphaned children and the sponsorship of 5 post-secondary Afar students for one year.
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2007 Mission Report
Warren Creates and Ahmed Mohammad
To take part in the 2nd Annual Afar Development Conference, to perform a needs assessment of the Afar situation in Ethiopia, and to determine how to best deliver poverty relief and humanitarian aid.
The situation in the Afar Region presents several challenges including;
- Security – food, water, transport, information, health
- Logistics – coordinating an effective flow of information and support between all groups involved
- Infrastructure – local infrastructure is primitive and undeveloped
- Culture – the Western World view is much different than that of the Afar People. It is important to practice ‘Do No Harm’ principles.
- Time constraints – limited time in each community
While taking part in the Afar Development Conference, we were able to develop relationships with regional state government representatives of the Afar People, the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) as well as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the World Food Program who are working to meet the needs of Afar People. As a result of these meetings several pressing issues were identified. The refugee situation in Eritrea is becoming increasingly strained as resources are already scarce. Secondly, the Afar are a nomadic people making it difficult to establish dedicated locations to deliver assistance and aid. Food security is a primary concern as many people are malnourished due to draught. Health care delivery is similar to the worst regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Delivery of education is challenging and literacy rates are high with an estimated 94% of Afar being illiterate. As the Region is one of the hottest and driest locations on earth, fresh water is difficult to secure. Many Afar die as a result of dehydration or illness caused by contaminated water. Finally, women are charged with looking after both their children and households while trying to take care of themselves, usually to the detriment of their own care. This, in concert with cultural practices such as FGM, makes the situation for Female Afar is particularly difficult.
As a result of this inaugural mission we were successful in validating our involvement in the Region. We began to understand how dire the situation was and how we could become involved to make things better. We were then able to start building awareness and support for what we believed was an important cause. On return to Canada, we were successful in both building awareness and delivering our first projects. We sent one container of medical supplies courtesy of a donation by David Smith, and we generated enough donations to provide food relief for 1000 refugees for 1 month.
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