The Good Samaritan

27 July 2018

Topics: emergency health "Link 2018" "local partner" refugees

Belay, the Program Head of Act for Peace's local partner in Ethiopia, smiles outside is office in Addis Abbaba. Belay is thankful to people in Australia who are helping to support refugees in need. Credit: Ben Littlejohn/Act for Peace.
Belay is the Program Head of Act for Peace’s local partner in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter-Church Aid Commission (EOC-DICAC). We talked to Belay about DICAC’s life-changing work and the difference your gifts are making to the lives of refugees.

Ethiopia is Africa’s second largest refugee hosting country, after Uganda. There are close to 900,000 refugees spread across 30 refugee camps, and the number is growing. Most people come because of a crisis in their country of origin, such as civil war, and they leave to find security and safety.
We work with refugees who have serious health conditions that cannot be treated in the camps, or who have been referred to the city on humanitarian grounds. These are the most vulnerable people and many are in dire need of medical assistance and counselling.

Refugees are people like you and me. They deserve access to basic rights and basic necessities and it’s our responsibility to help address their needs for food and healthcare, education.

That’s why our church is working together with our international partners, like Act for Peace, and local agencies to provide people with the support they need. Life in Addis Abba is very hard for refugees. They receive a small monthly stipend, but this small amount only just covers things like rent, food, and transport.

Many have also experienced trauma and this adds to their daily struggle. Thankfully, through your partnership, we are able to provide people with the support they need to get by.

What I enjoy most about the work I do is seeing the change in the life of an individual. I’ve been at DICAC for over ten years, and it still makes me very happy seeing people’s lives changed.

My message to people in Australia is that your contributions are making a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable refugees. We greatly appreciate it and thank you for your commitment to supporting people in need here in Ethiopia.

Your gifts are making a difference to the lives of refugees like Soraya, who fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Ethiopia in search of safety for her three children. Credit: Ben Littlejohn/Act for Peace.