Nia Travels to Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam!

Staff, our children, families, and supporters of the Nia Foundation have travelled to Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) at the construction site of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with a successfully accomplished mission of creating awareness along the way.

Years have passed without Ethiopia righteously benefiting from the Blue Nile as a source of this great river; similarly the issue of Autism was completely forgotten for years along with the deep rooted misconceptions like considering the disorder as a curse. As a result many have passed and are still chained and locked behind doors deprived of the sunshine and natural air.

Many thanks to this historic generation, a great dam that is of biggest of its kind; not only in Africa but in the world, is being constructed while Nia Foundation as part of its expansion has also launched a new project that aspires to establish an best place to buy generic viagra forum Autism Center of Excellence which will be the greatest of its kind in the continent. We have received a plot of land from the city Administration of Addis Ababa and now we are under preparation to mobilize resources and move to the execution of the project to realize such a big dream.

Abay (Blue Nile) and Autism have mysteriously unique similarities shared between them. For one, they were both forgotten for years waiting for people to work on them, both are speechless and require others to speak for them, it is now time for both to get works done for the benefit of the community. They are also both depicted with blue. Abay is known as Blue Nile internationally while World Autism Awareness Day is colorfully celebrated with blue lights and colored clothing internationally.

The similarity between Autism and Abay Continues in a way that United Nations has declared April 2nd to be dedicated as World Autism Awareness Day and celebrated colorfully in all member states for the past eight years; the same date is marked locally to celebrate the commencement of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam for past five years. These is why we have decided to make historic travel to the construction site of GERD with a purpose of undertaking consecutive awareness raising events and workshops along the way in major cities and universities located on the route.

A team representing the Nia foundation; its management, staff, children with autism, their parents and friends of the organization started their journey of great importance on March 31st 2016. The team followed the route Burayu – Ambo – Nekemte to reach its first day destination to organize an awareness creation and informative lecture to the students and other communities of Wollega University. After the successful undertaking of the event, the next day was meant to travel through the rest of the western part of the country to reach Assosa; the capital city of the regional state of Benishangul-gumuz. The team went on taking awareness creation assignments within the vicinity of Assosa University which was concluded with a lecture in hall to a large number of participants of the university community addressing the issue of autism and ways of future collaboration.

The next day starting earlier in the morning was meant for travelling to the GERD construction site to celebrate both WAAD and memorial of GERD commencement. The team was overwhelmed with the scenery of the surrounding and the scale of the project observing the construction site. After visits lead by the project Manager Eng. Simegnew Bekele, the team have presented a gift from the members of the Foundation as a reminder of the visit and dedicated to all the hard works being put on this pivotal development project by everyone involved withstanding the unbearable hardship of the locality and its atmosphere.

The afternoon and the next day were travel days to Bahirdar through many towns and rural villages of Benishangul-gumuz and Amhara states. Bahirdar and Debre Markos Universities respectively were the next destinations to organize university community targeted awareness creation events and were successfully addressed reaching thousands of students, teachers and other members of the university community while future ways of collaboration were thoroughly discussed.

Finally, April 5th was the last day for the travelling team to get back to Addis Ababa successfully accomplishing its purpose of celebrating WAAD in a special way along with creating awareness among different communities in ways of organizing workshops, making public speeches in cities, and distribution of informative publications in its entire trip. Key discussions were also made with decision makers including Head of Government Office in the Amhara National Regional State on ways of further awareness and service provision engagements of the state in collaboration with the Nia Foundation.

The travel was really worth it and all members of the team deserve a huge appreciation!

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