Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ethiopia: New Charity Investigation - Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church - St Mary of Debre Tsion

London — The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church; St Mary of Debre Tsion, registered charity number 1060394.
The inquiry was opened on 6 October 2014 to investigate concerns arising from a long running disagreement over the trusteeship and management of the charity. The disagreement has, in the past, resulted in disruptions to the charity's religious services and continues to affect some members' ability to attend services.
The regulator has been engaging with the charity since April 2013 on a number of regulatory issues including whether or not there have been properly appointed trustees in place, the charity's financial controls and management and whether the charity's property is properly managed. The charity has also persistently failed to submit annual accounts and Annual Returns to the Commission on time.
Since May 2014, the Commission has sought relevant information to address the Commission's concerns from the individuals currently administering the charity during its recent engagement but this has not been provided despite repeated requests to do so. This includes not complying with requests for information and declining to meet with the regulator.
The commission has therefore escalated its engagement with the charity to a statutory inquiry which will look at:
  • whether there is a properly constituted trustee board in place
  • whether the trustees of the charity's funds have discharged their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law
  • the adequacy of the charity's financial and risk management controls including any significant risk to and potential misapplication or loss of charitable assets
  • the repeated failure to comply with legal obligations in relation to the filing of annual accounts and annual returns
  • the administration, governance and management of the charity and whether, and to what extent, there has been mismanagement and/or misconduct on the part of those acting in the administration and management of the charity
The commission's decision to open the inquiry has been challenged in the First-tier Tribunal (Charity).
The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail and investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether there has been misconduct or mismanagement; establish the extent of the risk to the charity's property, beneficiaries or work; decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns, if necessary using its investigative, protective and remedial powers legal powers powers to do so.
It is the commission's policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries by the commission are available on GOV.UK.
The charity's details can be viewed on the commission's online charity search tool.
SOURCE The Charity Commission

Monday, November 3, 2014

How much can you carry? Floriane de Lassee’s amazing photo project


Hyatt, an Ethiopian woman, was one of the first subjects. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Hyatt, an Ethiopian woman, was one of the first subjects. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
IF you ever find your bag a little unwieldy, spare a thought for these people.
These fascinating photos show individuals across the world carrying their most important possessions on their heads.
The project was inspired by the sight of rural families from East Africa to South America lugging vital goods along dusty roads.
Red Basanti in India with straw bales to be traded for pans. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Red Basanti in India with straw bales to be traded for pans. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
Aru, from Ethiopia, with sticks and a lamb. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Aru, from Ethiopia, with sticks and a lamb. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
Gale, from Ethiopia, with a microwave, a plant and a pot. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Gale, from Ethiopia, with a microwave, a plant and a pot. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
French photographer Floriane De Lassée travelled through 14 countries to create the series, called How Much Can You Carry.
Her imagination was sparked after she observed long lines of walkers carrying diverse and unusual objects along African roads.
The 37-year-old photographer began her epic journey in Ethiopia in 2012, photographing 70 subjects across four continents.
Her striking photos have now been published in a monography, which is available in both English and French at Filigranes Editions.
Redonda, from Brazil, chose footballs as his most prized possessions. Picture: Floriane d
Redonda, from Brazil, chose footballs as his most prized possessions. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
Dokalia, from India, with washing on her head. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Dokalia, from India, with washing on her head. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
Jessica, from Bolivia, with her cleaning equipment. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Jessica, from Bolivia, with her cleaning equipment. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
Floriane and her partner travelled from Ethiopia to Rwanda, Madagascar, Namibia, Turkey, Nepal, India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Bolivia and Brazil.
The talented photographer found that in remote communities, what matters most is usually basic products and consumables.
These include grain sacks belonging to a farmer who sells his crop in the city to feed his family, straw bales to be traded for pans and even empty bottles to be recycled.
For years, Floriane photographed mysterious women in city windows and rooftops, with her work published in a book called Inside Views.
Sidney, from Bolivia, carries bags of clothing. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Sidney, from Bolivia, carries bags of clothing. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
Bigawa, from Nepal, carrying plants. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Bigawa, from Nepal, carrying plants. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
Casim, from Rwanda, keeps his life in his suitcases. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Casim, from Rwanda, keeps his life in his suitcases. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
But in 2011, her boyfriend asked her to take 14 months to travel around the world with him.
“I said yes, without really thinking about where we would end up and if it would be interesting for my photo-sensibility,” she says.
“First stop was Ethiopia, where I saw sand, dust, blind sun. The exact opposite of what I was expecting or looking for, so I had to open wide my eyes and brain to find a decent idea, far away from my past projects.
“By looking at courageous people carrying first necessity goods, on the side of dusty roads, I got this idea to make a homage to them — they are carrying their own life — and the series was born.”
Indonesians Elly and Farra treasure each other. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Indonesians Elly and Farra treasure each other. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
Teckle carries empty plastic bottles for recycling in Ethiopia. Picture: Floriane de Lass
Teckle carries empty plastic bottles for recycling in Ethiopia. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
Children climb on each other’s shoulders to reach a net in Nepal. Picture: Floriane de La
Children climb on each other’s shoulders to reach a net in Nepal. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope
One woman is pictured with a gigantic dinner set on her head, but Floriane says that when you look closer, her “strong and sad gaze” reveals the “weight of responsibilities” she bears for her large family.
Floriane hopes her series will have meaning for everyone from the long roads of Africa to big, fashionable cities.
“Everybody can be inspired because everybody has a weight to carry,” she says.
“Now that the series is completed and the book is published, I have taken a step back and see that it is not so much the ‘burden’ that matters, but the way we all have to carry it — and who can support us on this task.”
Ethiopian Aftam with his precious lamb. Picture: Floriane de Lassée
Ethiopian Aftam with his precious lamb. Picture: Floriane de Lassée Source: australscope

Climate-driven migration increasing disease burden in Ethiopia





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Ethiopian farmers make their way towards agricultural plantations in search of work as migrant laborers. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Kagondu Njagi
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GONDAR, Ethiopia (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When increasingly erratic weather ruined his crops of maize, wheat and barley in highland Maksegni, the middle-aged farmer migrated to Metemma, in northwest Ethiopia, to look for work in the lowland area’s commercial sesame and cotton plantations.
There he picked up more than work. Today the 39-year-old is infected with visceral leishmaniasis – a disease commonly called kalaazar – and with HIV.
The father of two, who is being treated at the University of Gondar, is among an estimated 300,000 Ethiopians who migrate to the plantations near the Sudan border every year, looking for new sources of income as their farms struggle.
But as they flee from hunger, they enter into sandfly territory, and bites by the insects spread kalaazar, a parasitic disease that is usually fatal if untreated. The loneliness of being away from family also leaves them vulnerable to HIV, researchers say.
“It is a kalaazar endemic area,” explained Ermias Diro, a researcher at the university’s clinic. “A lot of people travel there to look for work and in the process they get bitten by the sandfly.”
“After working throughout the day in the farmland they rest under a tree where there is shade,” he added. “It is a very hot place and they may not be dressed fully, so they get bitten.”
FAILING CROPS, RISING MIGRATION
Experts have linked more irregular rainfall and crop failures to a rise in migrant workers in Ethiopia. Meteorologists said Maksegnit, in the highlands, should record as much as 1,059 millimeters of rainfall during the peak season, but in the last few years rainfall has been as low as 317 millimeters.
That has led to a decline in staple crop farming, while cash crop farming in the lowlands pulls the struggling poor from the highlands, and toward new health threats.
Changing climatic conditions also are changing the range of the sandflies, said Daniel Argaw Dagne, of the leishmaniasis control programme at the World Health Organization.
“Kalaazar is a vector borne disease that can be influenced by climate change,” he said. “Global warming affects the distribution and growth of vectors.”
Fabiana Alves, the clinical project manager at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, said double infection by migrants with HIV and kalaazar “is a disease burden that we do not see in other countries even in East Africa.” More worryingly, “treatment with the available drugs is becoming difficult,” she said.
At Gondar University more than 15 percent of patients are “co-infected”, and studies are underway to look for new treatments. But testing and treatment in remote villages is needed as well, the experts say, and will be difficult.
NEED FOR RURAL TREATMENT CENTRES
Hasrat Hailu Mekuria of Addis Ababa University said the long distances and geographical isolation mean health care workers cannot reach some villages, while others lack basic facilities.
“Lack of water, hygiene and energy sources in rural healthcare is a big problem because kalaazar requires refrigeration or cold storage for some of the diagnostics,” Mekuria said.
Experts say establishment of mobile clinics and positioning of health extension workers in the communities could help migrating populations.
Kenya, meanwhile, is suffering similar problems  treating its own kalaazar cases, said Anderson Chelugo, a clinical officer at a treatment centre in Kimalel, where the road, energy and communication network is poor.
Power blackouts at the facility that hospitalizes kalaazar patients for close observation occur for full days as often as three times a week, he said.
The facility, in one of the most arid parts of the country, has yet to be fitted with alternative energy sources, such as solar. Even the standby generator has not been functioning for the last two months, Chelugo said.
“The patients we are unable to reach in the villages prefer traditional treatment like the use of herbal medicine and spiritual cleansing,” he said. “Many die because of lack of, or late treatment.”
Medics say that governments must invest in renewable energy if communities hardest hit by climate change and migration are to get their disease burden under control.
Kagondu Njagi is a freelance contributor for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, based in Nairobi and writing on climate change issues.

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Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change &  Liberation  in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained  Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva.   A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies.  He wrote on the  problematic of  the Horn of  Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.