Solving Problems And Sharing Ideas

  • Published Date: June 2017

Alemmeh Tessema

Alemmeh Tessema

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Alemmeh Tessema is a Project Coordinator with Dawn of Hope, an association of people living with HIV, in Bishoftu, Ethiopia. For the last six years, he has managed projects at Dawn of Hope and provided counseling to HIV positive people.

Alemmeh and others at Dawn of Hope were invited by the Oromia Regional Health Bureau to participate in the “LMG Program,” an experiential, team-based training program that was adapted from the Leadership Development Program Plus which helps teams to better identify and overcome everyday challenges.

The team at the Dawn of Hope branch in Bishoftu identified resource mobilization as a key challenge that limited their ability to provide quality and consistent care and support to people living with HIV. The team set a lofty goal to mobilize 50,000 Ethiopian birr per month.

To meet that goal, the team worked hard to develop a local resource mobilization plan. Previously, the headquarters resource mobilization plans did not always prioritize local resource mobilization, or take into consideration the community contexts.

One approach that the team took, was recognizing and engaging external stakeholders around Bishoftu, and trying to connect issues that impact people living with HIV to those stakeholders. For example, working with local schools, Dawn of Hope was able to successfully mobilize coverage of school fees for orphans and vulnerable children to have access to quality education. Within months, the Dawn of Hope branch in Bishoftu has mobilized more than 27,000 birr.

Reflecting on how the LMG Program impacted his work, Alemmeh said, “Before, I would not ask others for help or input, but after the LMG Program, I realized that there is potential in everyone around me… after the training, my approach to solving problems has completely changed. Before I would achieve something on my own… but now I look around and we achieve things together.”

When it comes to facing challenges as a team, “everyone has a role to play,” says Alemmeh.