FEEDING PROGRAM IN THE
GONDAR JEWISH COMMUNITY
We helped start and currently provide financial support for a life-saving feeding program in the
Gondar Jewish Community
When we first went to Ethiopia in 2014, the kids in the Jewish community were visibly shockingly malnourished.
Many had broad foreheads (frontal bossing), bulging eyes, and short stature. To document the degree of malnutrition, we conducted a study in 2017 with Professor Arthur Eidelman, MD, former chairman of neonatology at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel. Staff from the public health department of the University of Gondar assisted with examining, measuring and recording data for hundreds of children under age five in the Jewish community.
Findings showed that nearly 50% of the children were two standard deviations below the mean for height and weight. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers this "severe malnutrition," and this rate is even higher than this overall age-group average in Ethiopia.
Based on this study’s findings, we helped raise funds to establish a feeding program in 2017 to provide one stable meal a day to 500 children under age five. Local community members were hired to prepare and serve the food, providing a source of income for families. Prof. Morris Hartstein was the medical director.
In the years since the program has expanded and now feeds over 2,500 children and nursing mothers daily. All of the children in the program are monitored by a nurse and receive pediatric care as needed. 90% of participants reach a healthy growth curve within 6 months. The program has transformed the health of the members of the Jewish community of Gondar.
Operation Ethiopia continues to provide financial support to the Feeding program which is now fully run by SSEJ (Struggle to Save Ethiopian Jewry), for maximum efficiency.
We are proud to have been part of starting to this truly life-saving program and to provide funding still today.