WEEMA's Managing Director, Amber, visits Mudula

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My plane touched down in Boston yesterday after my first visit to Mudula. I was more than a little jet-lagged, but my first trip to Ethiopia to see WEEMA's projects had filled me with a new sense of energy and excitement.
 
Having spent the last 15 years working in international development, I've had the privilege of seeing a great number of projects first-hand. WEEMA projects were different; time and time again I was blown away – not only by what the WEEMA team was accomplishing, but also by how they were accomplishing it. Their integrity, passion and commitment to serving their community were  reflected in every action, big and small.

I’m looking forward to sharing stories from my trip of how WEEMA is changing lives in upcoming WEEMA Wednesdays. Stay tuned for your weekly dose of WEEMA inspiration!

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Amber Oberc

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Happy International Day of the Girl!

  A Degale Children's Library regular smiles for the camera as she learns her ABCs!

A Degale Children's Library regular smiles for the camera as she learns her ABCs!

Tomorrow is International Day of the Girl!  Sharing the success of our new children's center located at Degale Public Library is the perfect way to celebrate.  

The Mudula community recognized a special place for children books was needed and with its support, WEEMA constructed a separate children's library within the Degale Public Library compound. This library offers a place for girls and boys to learn, to imagine, and to dream. The adorable dreamer in the photo above is one of many girls who love to spend time among books and friends.

WEEMA empowers women and girls by providing equal opportunity and supporting educational programming that promotes gender equality. With opportunity, hard work and imagination little girls like the one using the children's library become influential agents of change.

  The building to the right of Degale Public Library is the new Children's Library!

The building to the right of Degale Public Library is the new Children's Library!

Liz Meets the World Health Organization's Director-General, Dr. Tedros!

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Last week WEEMA’s Founding Director, Liz McGovern, joined global leaders, experts, and advocates in New York City to work on strategies for achieving universal access to effective and affordable health services by 2030.

While at the at the Universal Health Coverage Conference, Liz had the privilege of meeting Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian physician and global health advocate who was elected Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017. Dr. Tedros has a long track record of public health leadership and served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005–2012. Under his guidance, Ethiopia invested in critical health infrastructure, expanded its health workforce, and developed innovative health financing mechanisms.

During their encounter, Dr. Tedros asked about WEEMA’s work and the meaning behind WEEMA's name. Liz was honored to explain how WEEMA not only means “hope” or to become “whole” or “fulfilled” in the local dialect, but how it also represents our mission and approach to development through Water, Education, Economic Empowerment and Medical care projects, implemented in Alliance with the local community.

Thank you, Dr. Tedros, for taking interest in WEEMA, and for being such a strong champion of access to high-quality, affordable health care!

To learn more about WEEMA's medical programs, click here.

“WHO's work is about serving people, about serving humanity. Most importantly, it's about fighting to ensure the health of people as a basic human right.”

                                                                            -Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

WEEMA's Mobile Health App is Saving Lives

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“The app guides me through each step. It makes our life simple. I consider the application as a ‘‘virtual doctor’’ that assists me to the right diagnosis and treatment.” - Bette, Health Extension Worker

Today, a WEEMA-supported health extension worker (HEW) can simply reach for her phone, open WEEMA’s mobile health app, and confidently start asking a mother questions to help quickly diagnose and treat her child.

This life-saving app is a mobile-based tool that WEEMA developed in partnership with D-tree International, with the support of the IZUMI Foundation. The app walks health workers through the recommended steps in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of sick children under five. In addition to creating the app, the WEEMA team provides training and follow up support for the HEWs using it.

In a recent qualitative evaluation, the app was shown to benefit every step in diagnosing, reporting and administering treatment. It also proved to increase accessibility to children under five years old and helped reduce unnecessary referrals to hospitals.

The application is very user-friendly. I feel that I became a well-equipped health professional. It helps me avoid giving wrong dosages and helps me give appropriate treatment for the age and weight of a child. It increased my confidence in terms of giving the right medication.
— Tigist, Health Extension Worker

WEEMA Welcomes its first U.S. Managing Director

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It’s exciting to be a part of WEEMA because of what the “A” stands for: Alliance, and the organization’s commitment to community-led decision making.  It makes me proud to be part of a team working to put agency back in the hands of the people it serves by supporting solutions to poverty for Ethiopians, by Ethiopians.
— Amber says of her role on the WEEMA team.

We are thrilled to welcome Amber Oberc to the WEEMA family as our first U.S. Managing Director! Amber brings to the team 15 years of international development experience, a passion for operational effectiveness, and a deep commitment to bringing equity, opportunity, and dignity to marginalized communities.
 
Building the capacity of WEEMA's teams in the U.S. and Ethiopia is a key step in helping the organization scale its impact. WEEMA's board of directors made the decision to invest in U.S. staff in order to allow WEEMA's Executive Director, Liz McGovern, more time to work with the team in Ethiopia and dream big about what is possible when everyone has access to clean water, quality education, economic opportunities, and medical care. 
 
Amber previously served as the U.S. Managing Director for the Tanzanian Children’s Fund, where her ability to build strong internal systems and effective teams created sustainable organizational growth. She also worked at Partners in Health where she managed the Right to Health Care program and was responsible for evacuating patients after the Haiti earthquake in 2010. Amber began her career at Management Sciences for Health as part of their Management and Leadership team working on monitoring and evaluation projects – experience that will come in handy as WEEMA scales up its data-driven approaches.
 
In her free time, Amber serves on the board of the Boston Network for International Development, actively mentoring the next generation of international development leaders. She also enjoys spending time with her husband Jeremy, preferably doing something in, on, or near water and her favorite place on earth is Squam Lake in New Hampshire.