The International Fund for Africa

The International Fund for Africa (IFA) is a Houston-based non-profit organization dedicated to preventing, alleviating, and abolishing suffering of human and non–human beings. Anteneh Roba, M.D. and his cousin, Ms. Seble Nebiyeloul, founded IFA in 2006, in memory of Amsale Gessesse, their beloved mother and aunt, respectively. Although most of their work is focused on Ethiopia, IFA’s vision includes expanding its work to other parts of Africa.

IFA is one of few organizations that promotes the interests of humans and non-human animals equally. This stems from the founders’ deep and abiding belief in biocentricity and the interconnectedness of all life. The organization operates on the principle of Ahimsa - nonviolence and respect for all life. IFA promotes non-tyrannical and non-exploitative relationships among human beings and between humans and other beings through a wide range of projects.

Currently, IFA is working to prevent and reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality in Ethiopia, a country that has a very high incidence of infant and child mortality rates. Striving to overcome some of the major obstacles to providing quality health care to families, IFA is helping to establish neonatal units in Addis Ababa hospitals, upgrade facilities by creating neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, and establish neonatal and pediatric services in rural hospitals. IFA’s work program also includes organizing a volunteer program for visiting U.S. doctors to deliver medical services and help improve neonatology training.

In 2007, the organization formed a partnership with a physician at an Ethiopian maternity hospital (the only neonatologist in a public hospital in the country) and started to build a neonatal unit. The unit was outfitted with beds, incubators, phototherapy equipment, EKG machines, and other related equipment. This effort reduced the infant mortality rate at that particular hospital from 17 percent in 2007 to 4 percent currently. As Dr. Roba put it, “[this] is the kind of difference you can make when a small organization and a couple of people care enough to do something.”

IFA is also working to reduce the number of homeless dogs in Ethiopia’s capital by instituting spay/neuter and vaccination programs. A nine-month pilot project was initiated in March 2009 to spay, neuter, and vaccinate 1,200 dogs in a sub-city of Addis Ababa. IFA, in collaboration with Best Friends and Humane Society International (U.S.-based animal welfare organizations), is providing equipment and training to Ethiopian doctors on spay and neuter methods. The city government of Addis Ababa provided the staff and building. By ensuring that Addis Ababa harbors only spayed, neutered, and vaccinated dogs, IFA aims to end the cruel poisoning of homeless dogs and the spread of rabies - two sources of horrendous suffering - in addition to the constant confusion, abuse, and terror that homeless dogs endure. The goal is to establish a safer and more humane way of dealing with animal overpopulation.

For more information about International Fund for Africa, please visit their website: http://www.ifundafrica.org

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Ajayi Olutayo

Ajayi Olutayo

11. October, 2012 |

People like you are needed on this continent to take us to where we should be. Keep it up man!

Marcus Edibogi Akor

Marcus Edibogi Akor

11. October, 2012 |

Thanks for this powerful article. I am very glad I read it. Keep up your great work and remain Blessed Law!

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