Wave Photos courtesy of Gary Kolman
A group of 19 people from Heber City recently returned from Ethiopia , where they provided humanitarian service to native villagers , many who suffer from malnutrition and a whole gamut of diseases.Worse , they lack the primary technological skills and equipment to provide for their simplest needs.
One of the 40 Engage Now group members , Gary Kolman
, expressed the concern shared by all as they prepared for the journey to Kersa Elela , Can such a small group truly make a difference--will our presence in this small reomote Ethopian village really help?.Although Kolman is the president of Pinnacle International , a firm that supplies nutritional products to Japan , he wondered if he really could make a difference in the life of anyone who lived on the other side of the globe
Yet , with his
background in nutrition , Kolman
services in the area of health and nutritional education were greatly needed.Once there , he
also assisted the attending medical physician patient in triage.Kolman said his work with Engage Now Foundation and the Kennard family was a valued experience
plans to continue working with them and will return to Ethiopia.Kolman
said , It was an overwhelming experience.It was an experience that I will never forget but one I will repeat as often as possible.I will go back.Until you look into the eyes of a hungry child or actually smell the scent of disease , you cannot fully appreciat the gift of life...a life that is free from hnger and thrist.
We did not go to Kersa Elala just to give clothing , services and a few goods.We went with the goal of teacing and educating people how to care and provide for themselves.
, a friend of the Kennard family for the past five years said of the six , now teenaged children , Each in their own way is a character asset to our community..
described the Engage Now mission , The sum purpose is to spiritually encourage people and arrange opportunities whereby they may anxiously engage themselves toward the cause of saving children and reducing poverty among the world's poorest people through sustainable self-help solutions..He
added , Engage Now is committed to providing villages and particularly children , with access to safe water and sanitation , education , and healthcare , and to help combat malnutrition and the effects of conflict on individuallives..Kersa Elela.
The group of 40 Engage Now volunteers arrived at Addis Ababa , the capitol of Ethiopia , and traveled four and one half hours by bus to the village.Kolman
described the small village.He
said the people lived in mud huts with dirt floors.All family members , whether children or in-laws , live together.At night , domestic and farm animals are herded into the family hut.Kolman
said the stench is nearly intolerable but housing the animals at night is neccessary to protect them from preditors.Few families have the means or materials to build even the smallest of barns for their animals.
Food is extremely scarce.Never once did we see any villager eat in our presence , said Kolman
.In fact , most of us Americans would give our lunch to someone who was sitting there..
Villagers grow corn and ---.
The official language of Ethiopia is Amharee.However , many villagers cannot read or write.
said , the people were described as loving , appreciative , intelligent and tough.Half are Muslim and half are Christian.Making a Difference.
This small group of 37 humanitarians set about to make a difference and they did.
Engage Now doctors and voluteers provided medical and dental relief.
Through the generous donations from NuSkin International , Kolman
was able to supply the village with soaps and shampoo.His own company , Pinnacle International and their sister company , Sun-Ten Laboratories donated multi vitamin/mineral supplements for the villagers
The main focus of the trip , though , was to help villagers install a ram pup gravity flow water system.This water sanitation system is essential to the future of the villagers.
Contaminated water is one of the major causes of disease and death in most Ethioopian villages.Right now , three and half hours is spent each day going to and from the river to get water and the water the get is contaminated.The river is shared with both wild and domesticated animals , not to mention thousands of other people..
continued , Just to reach the water , women must walk over one mile , fill their clay containers , then with the container harnessed on their backs , carry the water back to their village.Each container weighs about 80 pounds.The whole process is unbelievable , Kolman
The new pump will not only improve living conditions in the village , but will make reduce disease it will reduce the unproductive hours fetching water into a ten minute task.Moreover , where once women gather only contaminated water , they will now fetch it from a filtered water tank.
The pump works on a gravity flow principal and gets its power from the river's current.No electricity or fuel is required for it to operate.It is a simple mechanism , but it will make a world of difference to villagers , Kolman
said the pump is expected to be fully operational by this upcoming November.A Brief History of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia's rich history dates back to the first millennium B.C. Countrymen proudly trace their lineage back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
With the 1974 military over-throw of Emperor Haile Selassie , Ethiopia became a socialist state.Honored and respected wolrdwide , Haile Selassie ruled Ethiopia for more than 44 years.Until he
was reportedly murdered in 1975 by military radicals , the Emperor ran a progressive and economically stable nation.
said , Today communism is gone and Ethiopia is struggling to recover.Although things are still grim , hope abounds..
You may reach Gary Kolman
at ( 435 ) 654-4170 or Dr. Timothy Evans at ( 801 ) 355-5657.