The Suki community is an informal settlement on the southwestern edge of Addis Ababa in the Nefas Silk Lafto sub city, Woreda One. According to Kebele officials, the population was estimated at 2,000 households with an average of six people per household. Currently, 12,000 households are residing in this neighborhood. Majority of residents have settled in the last three to seven years. Many of the community’s residents are families that have been displaced as part of the government’s program to develop the city center into a modern commercial district. Suki is underserved in many respects. Access to clean water and sanitation are limited; Three city water points and one ground water were the only sources of water to serve the community. Many residents collect from unsafe sources in the area. A large number of children were not attending school, residents were not receiving healthcare and HIV testing services because of the distance and cost of transportation, school and health center fees.
The HOPE for AIDS Ethiopia team produces a needs assessment survey identifying the majority of residents settling in the area are a result of the push and pull effect of urbanization and is dominated by three ethnic groups (Wolayta, Amhara and Oromo). There is one local church serving the Wolayta community and an Orthodox church on the other edge of the neighborhood. Neither of these churches are engaged in community development interventions.
A high population of children characterizes the community. The average family is 6 people. Most of the adults get their earnings from engaging in the casual labor market and home crafts such as weaving for wholesale. An acute shortage of water supply, extremely poor sanitation and the absence of governmental and NGO interventions are apparent.
Childhood malnutrition, HIV (undiagnosed HIV, TB and other infectious diseases), unmanaged non-communicable diseases, gastro-intestinal illness and skin and diarrheal disease secondary to poor hygiene are found to be the top five health problems of the community.
The SIM Suki Community Health Project aims to reduce the impact and spread of HIV and AIDS in the Suki community of Addis Ababa and improve the overall health and quality of life of the residents. The intervention is targeted to transform the community through addressing the needs of individuals and families challenged by different health and environmental issues as well as the needs of the community at large.
Families affected by HIV
Families affected by HIV represent the biggest number of beneficiaries served by the project. The project serves the need of the entire family and strives to restore the physical, economic, social, psychological and spiritual wellbeing of the family. To this end, the project avails medical care service, basic need assistance, psychosocial support, spiritual care, business engagement opportunity and educational assistance to families affected by HIV.
Individuals with TB, Cancer and Mental Illness
Individuals challenged with TB, Cancer and Mental Illnesses are also served by the project. The team provides medical assistance and care for these individuals to ensure effective treatment and health improvement.
The project also cares for malnourished children in the Suki community through providing medical care follow-up, nutritional assistance and health education.
Apart from serving direct beneficiaries, the team also addresses the community’s health needs. Providing outreach medical care services, screening for TB, HIV and cervical cancer, improving access to clean water and improving sanitation and waste handling are the main components targeting the community at large.
Mind, Body and Spirit
The Suki team has fully organized a team of missionaries and national partners who envisaged being a redemptive and counter-cultural community of grace in the heart of the city. The group believes that gathering in common belief is central to true community transformation. They hold weekly Bible studies in each neighborhood and hope to establish a network to become a growing movement in the area providing training, resources, collaborative ministry partnership and a supportive community aiming to heal and restore this generation of Ethiopians through Jesus Christ.