A true heroine, Sister Zebider Zewdie, founder and Executive Director of Mary Joy Charity Organization was born in 1963. After high school, she went to Addis Ababa Nursing School. Then worked in different hospitals and NGO’s. “I opened up my own clinic and began to render free delivery services. Presently, we are serving over 1.5 million population, of whom 36,000 children, 10,000 youth, 5,000 elderly people and over 8, 000 baby care and guardians in the areas of education, health care, orphanage and elderly care, women and children affairs and poverty reduction activities.
In Mary Joy there is a project that works to improve the lives of children; who lost their families. We have also a project known as Kokeb (Star) Pram Project.
When we come to women’s affairs, our activities focus on creating opportunities that enable them generate income, empower themselves economically and let them lead stable life. However, we give priorities to educate them - how to lead secure life. We offer entrepreneurship training to women to make them self-reliant. For those, who organize themselves with 20 members, we provide an initial loan capital that exceeds to four million Birr.
We also work to battle cervical cancer. There is a negative attitude towards women with cervical cancer. Due to this woman try to hide the cases for the reason of social exclusion. To end this, we are working to bring change in public attitudes.
The other issue we work diligently is family planning. We are working to raise the awareness of the youth towards family planning issues.” “The total budget of the Organization is 26 million Birr. However, that is not enough to be accessed for the larger segments of the needy people.
The Center in hawassa that opened recently is multipurpose elderly center. The Center also has recreational rooms which elders can watch TV, play all types of cultural games, a library, gymnasium, massage rooms, computer center aside from fulfilling their basic needs.”