18 Feb 2011

We have Surpassed 300 Members & Financial Situation

Even during this economic depression we have managed to increase the number of our members and have passed the psychological barrier of 300, in fact we have 302 members.  From the kindness and generosity of these members we are able to collect monthly 7528 Euros.

The ability to keep so many quality projects on the go with relatively little money is what allows Mediterranea to be highly productive and attractive to our members.  We are very proud of the trajectory of this small, altruistic organisation and have no doubt that with more members we would be able to do much more for many more people.

Mediterranea Projects Fixed Expenses


We have been in Ethiopia for nearly five years now and all of our projects are located in the subcity of Akaki Kaliti.

Abugida Infant School

The total support and financing of this school of 215 children aged 1 to 7.
It consists of a kindergarten for children aged 1 to 3 and an infant school for children aged 3 to 7.  This is the only kindergarten of its kind in the area and we would dare to say in the whole of the country.
30 people employed.
The children receive three meals a day, breakfast, lunch and tea.
We started at this school in 2007 and have made various improvements and additions.  We have constructed two new classrooms, a kindergarten that also consists of two new classrooms, an outside dining room and kitchen.
At the school a group of 70 women are taught reading and writing in the afternoons.
We are sponsoring 40 of the children, selected as being the poorest of the poor, the majority having single mothers who are HIV+.

Monthly budget 3500/4000 Euros.
This budget will increase when the classroom for the blind children is complete.

Fitawrari Abayneh Infant, Primary & Secondary School

It is to this school that most of the children from Abugida go when they reach primary school age.
We have subsidized the infant school of 160 children, paying for school material and a playground of swings, toboggan and merry go round.
We have paid for a bridging course for children older that 10 who have never been to school because they had to work.  These children received a special course between March and September and when they finished it they were incorporated into the school.  We paid for all the learning material and for the salaries of the two teachers who gave the course.
We started up a school dining room and kitchen, which provides breakfast for the 160 children of the infant school and breakfast and lunch for 103 orphans.
Apart from the food we pay for the salaries of the four cooks.
We started this feeding project in order to keep the children in school as many were not attending, as they needed to find food.
We paid for uniforms and school material for 100 children.

Monthly budget 1700 Euros

Biru Tesfa Infant School

This is an infant school of 180 children aged 3 to 7. 
In December we agreed that we should start to provide breakfast for all the children.
We have paid for the uniforms and school materials for 100 children.
Due to the precarious state in which we found this school we have made a number of important repairs.
We pay the salary of three carers.

Monthly budget 550 Euros

Akaki Mengist Prmary and Secondary School

Although we have no fixed costs for this school at the moment we wanted to include it on the list as it’s going to become one of the schools that we support on a continuous basis.
Of particular interest, this school has two classrooms dedicated to children and teenagers with visual, auditory and psychological disabilities.  Here we have started Project Huerto (Vegetable Garden), where we have created a vegetable garden that is solely tended and cared for by the psychologically disabled pupils.  The project is self-sustaining as the 13 girls and boys who work the garden will sell their produce at the entrance to the school with the help of their families.
The teachers of these children are very much involved in the project, which has also caught the eye and made a good impression with the directors of the school, the Kebele (neighbourhood authority) and the authorities of the subcity
We want to extend this project to the other schools in Akaki.
We have also sent learning materials, games, a wheelchair and many pairs of crutches for the physically disabled.  We want to send more materials to help the disabled of this school.

Project Huerto has cost 300 Euros

With the help of a group of volunteers we are presently pulling together materials to help the blind children of the school.


Through the Fourth World Mallorca Programme we provide packs of basic food provisions for 440 people who have no government support and very little means of supporting themselves.  During the tourist season we expect that some of these people will be able to provide for themselves.

All of these costs amount to 7000/7450 Euros per month

We are able to use one off contributions that we receive from time to time to help us meet these monthly costs when the monthly contributions from our members does not fully cover them.  We also use these contributions to fund new construction and repairs at ‘our’ schools in Ethiopia.

In Mediterranea we do not accept any public subsidies or grants as we do not want to loose our independence and objectivity.  We are a true Non Governmental Organisation.

Thank you to everyone who is making possible what we are doing.

13 Feb 2011

Doctor Hawa Abdi, Somalia: Anonymous Heroine

Continuing with our focus on anonymous heroines and remembering Doctor Catherine Hemlin, founder of the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia www.hamlinfistula.org today we follow another incredible woman, whose story brings into question how the Nobel Prize for Peace is selected.

Original source: New York Times.

Last year, just after dawn on 5 May, some 750-armed militia surrounded the hospital of Doctor Hawa Abdi.  Mama Hawa, as she is known, heard shots and leaning out of the window saw the large group of armed men.  “Why do you run this hospital?” demanded the militia, “you are old and you are a woman!”

To them it wasn’t important that 63 year old Mama Hawa was one of only a very few properly trained doctors for many kilometres.  Neither that she was running the clinic, the school (with 800 students in only 8 classrooms) and a feeding programme which was helping nearly 10 000 people, the majority of whom were desperate refugees.

The militia held Dr Abdi at gunpoint while plundering and destroying the hospital.  Dr Abdi told them “I am not going to abandon my hospital.  If I die, I will die with my people and with my dignity.  For five days the militia occupied the hospital and kept it closed, during which time dozens of children died from malnutrition.

Then, something extraordinary happened: hundreds of women from the refugee camp situated on Dr Abdi’s land joined together in protest and a flood of condemnation, appealing to Somalis living abroad to help.  This protest ultimately led to the freeing of Mama Hawa and the departure of the militia from the hospital.

The health system in Somalia, after 20 years of war, is practically non-existent.  But Hawa perseveres together with her sisters, who are also doctors, leading, what Eliza Griswold describes as “a city of cure in the brutal chaos of war”.

Hawa obtained a grant to study Genecology in Kiev.  Her dream to become a doctor began when she was 12 years old and witnessed the death of her mother while giving birth.  In 1983 she opened a clinic for women from a room in the family home.  Now the Hawa Abdi Hospital has 400 beds, 3 operating theatres, 6 doctors, 43 nurses, a school and an adult learning centre.  An actual city has grown up around the hospital, with 90 000 refugees surviving in shacks made from sticks and sheets of plastic.  The medical treatment is free, financed by donations.  The refuge has some guards and some rules, one of which is that a man cannot hit his wife.

Dr Abdi and her sisters Amina and Deqa where chosen by the American magazine Glamour as winners of their prize for women of year 2010.  As a result of this they have gained recognition from many people.  With this post we would like to give them ours.