How it all Began....!
Who's Who ...
This project has to date been financed and supported by Mr G. Trevor Parsons. Retired Dentist currently living in Malvern in Worcestershire. Trevor has always given money and supported various charities including the charity Dentaid that collects used dental equipment in the UK to send to disadvantaged countries. In the past 8 years he has been supporting Adisu in Ethiopia through his nursing degree in Addis Ababa and, more recently, building the new Lalibela medical centre including working on the plan to equip it.
The key player in this project is Mr. Adisu Mekonen Getu, born and brought up in Lalibela in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. Adisu has been sponsored through university by Trevor and graduated as a nurse in 2018. Since graduating he has been working as a lecturer in nursing whilst also overseeing the building of the new medical centre in Lalibela. Once the centre has been equipped Adisu will be the lead nurse and manager of the centre.
trevor talks about his sponsor-ship of adisu ....
What would you do if you came across someone dying on the ground?
If you were able to overcome your fear of a trap or danger, would you walk past, or would you put your hand in your pocket to help?
Life is truly amazing if you follow the opportunities presented to you. Many of us are simply too scared to grab the opportunities presented, but not everyone. Here’s what happened to my father……
My dad (Trevor Parsons) was visiting Lalibela in Ethiopia. He had heard about the amazing underground churches. Out one night in the very dark streets, a man approached him and started talking. After a while he said he didn’t want anything from my dad. but he did want to show him something a few streets away.
He led him into the main street where they came across a young lad (a farmer) lying on a tattered stretcher. His arm lolled on the ground, his hand black and dead, his arm in decay. He was dying of gangrene resulting from a snake bite 3 months earlier my dad was told.
His wife and friends standing around their friend said that they didn’t have any money for his hospital treatment.
A small donation from a tourist can be life changing
My dad returned to his hotel and got the money they needed. And next day the young man was taken to a medical centre (2 days travel away) to have his arm amputated and, hopefully, his life saved.
But would you have handed the money over? It’s a tough call in these times when we’re always being warned about the dangers of being scammed. Perhaps sometimes we need to stop over thinking things and just go with what our gut instinct is telling us.
My dad meets Adisu
The next day my dad was again walking in the streets when he met the same man he had met the night before. This time he was with a friend who appeared dispirited and down with life. He said that everyone who left school was told to train as a tour guide but, with only small numbers of visitors there just wasn’t enough work to go around.
A while later, back in the UK my dad received an email from this lad, Adisu, saying that he really wanted to make a difference in his community and wanted to study to become a nurse so he could care for people in his town.
A nursing degree and 6 years of sponsorship
After a lot of deliberation my dad offered to pay for his first 3 months tuition towards a nursing diploma but said that he would not continue with any payments if reports from the college were not glowing at the end of the 3 months. No surprise really, but Adisu’s reports were glowing. A star student. So my dad continued to pay around £150 a month for his tuition plus a little to help him with rent and living costs. 6 years in total. It was a hard life for Adisu, virtually no money to live on, having to live and study in Addis Ababa the Capital of Ethiopia, far away from his family. But Adisu was determined. He initially gained a diploma and then went on to get his nursing degree. Six years later, at the age of 24, Adisu graduated and was immediately offered a job as a lecturer in nursing at the university. A testament to how hard he had studied and the fantastic results he had attained.
Giving back to the community
Most of his cohort immediately went to work and live abroad where nurses’ pay is much better than in Ethiopia, but Adisu’s heart is in his home town. It has been his dream for many, many years to bring medical facilities to his home region to support the 35000 farmers and other workers in the area. His sister died at the age of 16 as a result of inadequate treatment and support when she was seriously injured. And he has seen others suffer a similar fate. So now, after 6 years of studying, its time to give back to the community and, luckily for Adisu, in Ethiopia most medical centres are managed by nurses, with doctors only visiting occasionally.
But what do you do when you want to give back to your local community but there is no medical centre in the town?
For every problem there is a solution
One of my favourite sayings as I have run my business across the last 22 years is that for every problem there is a solution. Sometimes you just have to keep working away at it for a bit!
Well Adisu and my father talked, as they had talked throughout his six years of study. My father then paid for an architect to develop plans for a building, Adisu negotiated the purchase of the land and eventually Adisu and his brother oversaw the building of the new medical centre, just about completed now.
This life saving building has space for residential accommodation for the nursing and support staff, space for patients to be diagnosed and treated, space for out patient clinics and Adisu already has ideas about expansion and development. It is Adisu’s dream to educate the population about vaccinations, health issues and to provide essential health care in a country where men only expect to live to 49 and women live to 51.
This project, with life expectancies like this means that there is nothing to lose but everything to gain in a remote region where hardship is the norm.
Why did I step in?
But now I join the picture. I’m Helen Jamieson and I’ve been running my own business in Ringwood, Hampshire for 22 years now. My dad, this last Christmas, tells me this story about a medical centre that has been built, a young lad who has got his degree, a town with extraordinary hardship and how money is now needed to kit out the brand new medical centre with its newly plastered walls and rooms waiting for its first patients. He has hit a brick wall when trying to work out how to set up a charity in the UK to raise the money. Its just too complex for one person trying to do it all. My son, his grandson, suggests to him that we use GoFundMe so we can raise the money faster as the medical centre needs to be opened.
And so we come to today. My son and I with the support of some of my team at Jaluch (my business) have set up this website and a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for an amazing cause. We lead such privileged lives, even those of us who feel we have it hard. I am asking for your donations to help us get this medical centre open.
If you take a look at the equipment list that sets out what is needed you might think you could fund Quinine injections at £18.21 per box to treat malaria, or a catheter at 90p a unit, or £450 for a large TV for the health education of patients, or even plasters at 33p a box or a pack of bandages at 84p. Every donation will help us build towards what we need to get this medical centre in Lalibela open and Adisu hard at work, bringing life saving and life changing medical support to his home town.
Please support us!
Why not tell us how you’d like your money spent?
When you donate, please do fill in the contact page telling us how you would like your money to be spent. First take a look at the equipment list and then choose what you would like to pay for. As we raise funds, we’ll be adding names next to the equipment list. A work in progress!
The young farmer with a Gangrenous arm.