Criteria for Mission Building
- Support the Area of Greatest Need
- Sustainable Solutions for Community
- Accommodations for Teams
- Safety for Individuals and Families
- Fun for all
Discovering a country — its culture, its spirit, and its heart — is best done through mission and service. Every one of EHA’s mission trips of brings HOPE to Ethiopia though education, health and action. When life’s daily pressures seem insurmountable, I often go back to my mission moments and remember how people give so willingly and completely of themselves. Thanks to our volunteers, patients and families, hosts, and partners, I remember to do the same.
It’s fulfilling to be a part of EHA and build healthy, self-reliant communities through Education, Health and Action. But with all the places in the world to serve, you may be wondering why we chose this particular service area.
According to the Oxford Multi Poverty Index, Ethiopia ranks among the three most destitute nations in the world, and by extension, Oromia, our service area is the country’s third most destitute region, just above Somalia to the east and South Sudan to the west.
We’ve chosen to concentrate our efforts on improving lives in rural Ethiopia because it’s where the need is greatest. So while growth and development are rampant in the capital city…
- More than 80% of the nation lives in rural areas.
- many children in rural areas are still dying before their 5th birthdays
- 90% of households in southern Oromo villages do not have electricity or running water
- Women and girls still have to walk at least 4 miles each way to fetch water from water wells or streams — that also means more girls miss out on school
- There is one doctor for every 100,000 people in rural communities such as Gode Village and Negele Arsi town
- 40% of the younger generation are losing their lives to road injuries and accidents because their families cannot get them the life-saving surgeries they need
For mission participants and locals alike, an EHA Mission trip is closer to a homecoming than Volunteer work.
EHA mission volunteers are always pleasantly surprised by the lushness and beauty that surrounds them in rural Ethiopia. They are greeted by the golden sunrise at Lake Langano before they start each service day. The picturesque drive up into the hinterlands of Gode Mountain is punctuated by cheers and waves, children waving and calling out their warm welcome.
Clinic service days are busy, with more than 1,500 patients being seen for primary care needs and being screened for surgeries. School mentoring days are fun-filled and action-packed with friendly competition and group activities for students K-8. EHA Ambassadors work with the “Coaches,” local high school and college students as they train youngsters in this pioneering academic bootcamp designed to make learning math, english, science and hygiene fun. A number of clinical rotations and public health days are spent at the local hospital providing higher levels of outpatient and inpatient care.
While all these activities are rewarding and truly make use of everyone’s skills and talents, our volunteers all say that what they receive from their participation in these missions are infinitely more than their financial, or professional contributions. It’s no wonder our mission teams grow in size year after year, and that so many of our EHA Alumni have joined us on multiple mission trips.