We're an organization made up of volunteers and donors. Our goal is to help the elderly in Ethiopia that are in need of care and support. We hope to expand the current support we provide to a level that will reach more families and help more of the elderly meet their basic needs.
We believe that despite being ordinary people, if united we can achieve extraordinary things together. Through our program we can make a difference in the lives of the lonely and destitute elders that are in need of love and compassion. Our purpose is to nourish the mind, body, and soul of the Ethiopian elderly. We fervently believe that "man proposes, God disposes" and we intend to always seek His help.
Ethiopia is located in the horn of Africa and has a land area of about 1.1 million sq. km. As of 2017 its population is about 105 million. It is one of the largest and most populous countries in Africa.
Given the significant proportion of arable land and its huge population size, the potential for growth in Ethiopia is immense. Despite this Ethiopia still remains one of the poorest countries in the world. 85% of the population relies on agriculture for their livelihood with most of the older people depending on subsistence farming and small scale enterprises. A large portion of the elderly population lives in poverty.
Ethiopia has no Medicare, no social security, and no universal health care. Most families have been torn apart by poverty and a significant amount of the elderly live alone with no one to help them. With no access to nursing homes or assisted living facilities most of the elderly are left to fend for themselves.
This is what our founder, Shiferaw Gobezie, encountered every day when he lived in Addis Ababa, the capital city of his home country of Ethiopia. He found that he could no longer walk by the elderly without taking action.
“Seeing this day in and day out stirred something inside me that provoked me to do something,” he said. “In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what or how, I only knew I must. That must started with twelve elderly people who had no relatives and no means of support. I provided their support out of my own meager resources and continue to do so.”
Our goals now are to expand the current support we provide to a level that will reach more families and help meet some of the elderly’s basic needs. ICECE will eventually provide four types of support to Ethiopia’s elderly. For those who are sick, cannot work, have no support, and live on the street we'll provide food, clothing, shelter, and medical services. For those who live with their families and can work but have no income we'll provide vocational training. Other elderly candidates will be provided with housing renovation resources. For those who have difficulty paying rent and affording daily necessities we'll provide funds to meet those needs as well as basic medical care. The organization will also promote the spiritual and emotional development of all those in its care.
Shiferaw Gobezie – Founder and President
Al Hedrick – Board Chairman
Brett Beem – Board Secretary
Wossen Asayehegn – Co-founder and Board Member
Jim Brown – Board Member