Dedicated to helping others
Fred is an ambulance driver with Act for Peace’s local partner in Ethiopia.
He doesn’t have spare money to give but has dedicated his life to helping others.
He believes that we all have a responsibility to help those less fortunate and is
doing his part to support sick refugees who have been forced to flee to Ethiopia.
Richard Wainwright/Act for Peace
Ethiopia is home to just under half a million refugees, predominantly from neighbouring South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. They fled from war ravaged regions and survived the perilous journey to Ethiopian refugee camps. Many have fought dehydration, starvation and malnutrition on their journey to the safety of the camps. Most have survived violence, terror and fear.
They have found safety in the refugee camps but life is still extremely hard. Resources are more stretched than ever and most camps have only one doctor to handle the medical needs of up to 20,000 refugees. With health services so thinly stretched, people with complex or severe medical conditions are left extremely vulnerable, and could even die without extra support.
Act for Peace’s local partner in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church- Development and Interchurch Aid Commision (EOC-DICAC), provides urgently needed emergency medical assistance for refugees with conditions too complex to be treated in the camps. Patients are referred from different camps to Addis Ababa where they are able to receive often life-saving treatment and ongoing specialist care.
Fred, 35, is an EOC-DICAC ambulance driver. But, to the sick refugees he helps, Fred is much more. Fred goes the extra mile when helping his patients and to many, they see him as a member of their family.
“They [patients] know us very well, we know them very well so we have a good friendship, they consider us their family and we even consider them as our family because they are always with us and we with them so we have a good relationship with them”
Fred is one of only two ambulance drivers whose job it is to transport critically ill refugees from the refugee camps to Addis Ababa and to help support their treatment once they have arrived. He visits his patients at home and in hospital, driving them to appointments and ensuring they have the round-the-clock care they need.
An extremely caring man, Fred remembers the names of each and every one of his patients, takes the time to listen to them and does all he can to brighten up their day. When patients see Fred’s smiling face it makes an extra big difference as they are often alone in Addis Ababa, living with pain and coping with other extremely difficult circumstances.
Fred enjoys being able to use the skills he has to help, “I enjoy my job you know, because always I am assisting needy people so I really enjoy my job. Always I give transportation to those who cannot walk by themselves and who are very sick so I am very happy”
Day in, day out, Fred works tirelessly to provide the care that is needed to the refugees he serves. He often drives up to 350 kilometres a day in searing heat through the exhaust fumes of Addis Ababa’s congested streets, bringing people with lifethreatening conditions to hospital to receive the care they need. He is on call 24 hours, 7 days a week and will often go a number of days without a full night’s sleep. But, Fred believes it is his duty to carry on and do all he can to help.
“I don’t have money to lend but God gave me this job so I am very happy to have this job because I am assisting human beings.”
Your gifts are saving lives!
You might remember reading about Tekeste in our September appeal letter. Tekeste had a life threatening tumor and was facing almost certain death. With your support Tekeste was transported to Addis Ababa and received the life-saving surgery he needed.
You raised over $110,000 for the Ethiopia appeal, which will help support more critically ill refugees like Tekeste. Since September EOC-DICAC have been working towards buying a new ambulance to transport patients as well as looking to hire new staff to better support at risk refugees. Thank you!
More ways to take action
Help keep families at risk from landslides safe by providing training in disaster risk reduction in schools. Training helps children to identify risks and warning signs of landslides, and teaches them how to keep safe if one happens.
Take the Act for Peace Ration Challenge and eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee during Refugee Week (19-26 June 2016). Raise money to support refugees who have lost everything, and challenge perspectives – including your own.
Right now, thousands of innocent people are fleeing Syria every day to protect their families from bloodshed, violence and death. We need your support to provide emergency relief packs to the families fleeing in Syria.