Ohio State University Visited Mary Joy
Ohio State University delegates unveiled their interest to partnership: The Ohio State University (OSU) delegates visited Mary Joy Development Association on December 9, 2012. The delegates encompass OSU’s professors, Deans and researchers. The visit was aimed to establish partnership between MJDA and OSU on community health outreach program, volunteer mobilization and in-service training programs. The delegates visited the MJDA medical center’s activities and integrated community development programs as well as discussion has been held among the team members and MJDA’s management on the focus of the partnership and sustainability of MJDA’s health programs. The visitors were accompanied by Professor Tirusew Tefera (Dean, College of Education and Behavioral Studies, Addis Ababa University) and Dr. Mekasha Kassaye (Assistant Professor in English Language Pedagogy and Higher Education Policy and Management) and Ethiopian Medical Student Association’s Executives.
On the 4th of February 2012, MJDA organized a Volunteers Recognition Event to publically recognize the contribution of 200 volunteers who have been actively participating during the last 5 years to achieve the organization’s objectives.
Water in the Desert
Success Story of Mesay Aragie
“The youth should fight this illness and become heroes in their own lives” Ethiopia’s younger generation faces many obstacles when trying to obtain a higher education. Mesay Aragie is an example of how these difficulties force people to continue working in impoverished conditions. Mesay couldn’t pass the 12th grade exam and was forced to stay home with his poor family.
Mesay lost his father when he was just 12 years old and his mother struggled to support all four of his brothers without a steady income. When he was denied access to the university, the situation worsened as he spent his energetic young adult life at home wondering why he couldn’t continue his education.
Then he came upon an oasis in the desert. Mesay joined Mary Joy Development Association in hopes of participating in one of Mary Joy’s environmental-focused programs.
“It was like finding water in the middle of the desert,” he said. “Joining Mary Joy was my turning point, and introduced me to the idea of protecting our environment from pollution and other man made disturbances.”
Soon Mary Joy provided Mesay with life skills, leadership abilities, environmental knowledge as well as materials, and Mesay founded the NIB Environmental Protection Youth Association, which aims to teach adolescents the importance of conservation and protecting the outside world.
As director and founder of the association, it has been challenging for him to convince other youths and governmental bodies to collaborate with NIB, supporting with material and non-material resources.
Mesay Aragie’s life has changed since creating NIB. Mesay is now a university graduate and has become self-sufficient for himself and has helped members of NIB become self-sufficient as well.
“The biggest illness is hopelessness; most youth are at their home doing nothing for themselves or for their country. The youth should fight this illness and become heroes in their own lives,” according to Mesay.