About us

1. Our objectives

Etiopia Witten’s primary objective is to support Ethiopia’s health services. Unlike most other humanitarian organizations, our aid is structured in projects which are supported from beginning to end.
We start by identifying locally where our help is needed. We then assess whether our association is able to provide it. The next step is to overcome any obstacles due to red tape, etc. Followed by recruting specialists willing to come to Ethiopia, and the arrangements for the financing, e.g. of shipping costs.

We then collect aid, e.g. medical equipment, to be shipped to Ethiopia. This is where the involvement of many aid organizations stops. We, however, take delivery of the donated equipment on location, facilitate its correct installation and ensure everything works properly.  We train local staff in the operation of the equipment and are always available for technical and medical support.

Complex and long lasting medical and structural projects are supported by grants and supporters from Germany (e.g. planning and installing interventional Cardiology or prevention of rheumatic fever in rural Etiopia or constructing and furnishing  rural elementary schools inclusive electricity and basic computer rooms)

Joint work in the Ayder Hospital heart catheter laboratory
Joint work in the heart catheter laboratory of Ayder Hospital

2. Who is Etiopia Witten?

The association Etiopia Witten was founded in 2008, following the visit to Ethiopia by a group of doctors led by the Ethiopian-born internist Ahmedin Idris.

The members of our board are: Christian Leuner (chairman), Ahmedin Idris, Ursula Wahle (vice-chairman), Karl-Heinz Franz (treasurer and secretary). Theo Püplichhuisen, former chief administrator of the Marien-Hospital in Witten, is the press officer. Moritz Niemann is public relations officer.

FLTR: The board fo EW: Theo Püplichhuisen, Karl-Heinz Franz, Frank Koch (former chaiman) Christian Leuner (new chairman), Ahmedin Idris, Moritz Niemann, Helga Mönks
FLTR: The board fo EW: Theo Püplichhuisen, Karl-Heinz Franz, Frank Koch (former chaiman) Christian Leuner (new chairman), Ahmedin Idris, Moritz Niemann, Helga Mönks

3. Where are we based, and how do we work?

Our work is split between Germany (finding, collecting, approving, and shipping of donated equipment; recruiting of experts) and Ethiopia. Our first project was the Bishoftu hospital in Debre Zeyt. The hospital, a prison prior to its 1988 conversion, is located 47km (30 miles) outside of the capital Addis Ababa. It serves as a regional hospital covering a catchment area with a population of approximately 5 million.

4. Why Ethiopia?

There are many places where help is needed. Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. On the Human Development Index, it ranks 171 of 182. Ethiopia has a special status in Africa. Its capital Addis Ababa is also the seat of the African Union, a very important organization for the continent.

The political situation is compared to the majority of African states relatively stable and the health administration is cooperative and strongly positive interested in our work. Projects carried out in this country can be exemplary for the whole of Africa. Europeans can feel a ‘bond’ with Ethiopia, not least because of the country’s centuries-old Christian tradition. Based on working in Ethiopia for periods of several weeks or months, the climate is well compatible.


There are approximately 5,000 doctors for a population of 100 million. In Germany, the same number of people is served by well over 300,000 physicians.  Many retired specialized doctors living in Witten town and other places in Germany are coming since many years during the „German Week“ to Ethiopia. some with special projects even several times per year.

 

Patent transport -  only basic medical infrastructure in rural areas
Very basic medical infrastructure in rural areas

People behind Etiopia Witten e.V.

Dr. Christian Leuner (chairman)
Dr.Christian J. Leuner
Dr. Christian J. Leuner

Lives in Bielefeld

Since October 2017 chairman

 

 

 

 

Retired senior physician at the Klinikum Bielefeld. Experience as an interventional cardiologist in the heart catheter laboratory as well as in the field of echocardiography and intensive care medicine. Since 2013 he is supporting the setup of the cardiology unit e.g with a heart catheter laboratory at the Ayder University Hospital in Mekelle - Ethiopia. He is involved in further development aid projects in the field of cardiology. Since 2016 Webmaster of the website www.etiopia-Witten.de. Previously several annual stays in Ethiopia. 

Ahmedin Idris (vice-chairman)
Ahmedin Idris
Ahmedin Idris

Initiator of the foundation and vice-chairman of Etiopia Witten.
Born and raised in Eritrea, medical training and residency in Germany, set up practice as an internist in Witten in 1993.
Years of involvement in aid initiatives for Eritrea and Ethiopia. Member of Hammer Forum, a medical charity supporting children in conflict areas since 1991. Expert for fundraising and transport arrangements.

www.praxisidris.de

Dr. Karl-Heinz Franz (treasurer)
Dr. Karl-Heinz Franz
Dr. Karl-Heinz Franz

Set up practice as internist and lung specialist in Witten in 1984.
Member of the first Ethiopia ‘expedition’ in 2008, founding member and treasurer of Etiopia Witten. Maintains the charity’s website.
Many years of involvement in Third world charities, e.g. Cubahilfe Bochum, Hilfe für Mali. Travel to various countries affected by medical shortages and famine-related problems in Asia and Africa.

www.lungenfacharzt.de

Theo Püplichhuisen (press officer)
Theo Püplichhuisen
Theo Püplichhuisen

Etiopia Witten’s press officer.
For many years, chief administrator of the Marien-Hosiptal in Witten.
Since his retirement, he has worked for the Senior Experten Service in Bonn, a pool of retired expert volunteers offering their skills to others, both at home and abroad. Worked on nine aid assignments in Asia and Africa.
Expert for organization and administration.

Helga Mönks (board member)
Helga Mönks
Helga Mönks

Founding member, member of the board since 2012. Helga is a former school teacher and retired since July 2009. Within Etiopia Witten e.V. she is an important bearer of the working group „Etiopia Education“. Her main tasks so far are establishing contacts to schools in the region of Mekelle and the initiation of the project „Ethiopia-Schoolbag“.

Besides being active for Etiopia Witten Helga is also a volunteer worker for various other institutions, such as Circle of Friends Cusco in Dortmund or as a reading mentor in Sprockhövel.

Moritz Niemann (board member)
Moritz Niemann
Moritz Niemann

Student of Philosophy & Economics at the University of Bayreuth, 4th Semester.

Moritz organizes PR-methods and is a member of the board since November 2012. Due to his internship in Ethiopia in 2010 he set the foundation for initiating help in the north of the country starting 2011. Moritz is co-supervising the association’s website and is intended to coordinate youth work in the association.

Dr. Frank Koch (past chairman - adviser)
Dr. Frank Koch
Dr. Frank Koch

Set up practice as an internist in Witten in 1975.
Founder and initiator of a number of cooperative projects in the medical sector, some of which he chairs (ÄQW, Ärzteverein Witten), Witten city councilman, Member of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Founding member and past first chairman of the charity Etiopia Witten. Travel to various former Eastern bloc countries and Asia. Numerous visits to Ethiopia as part of the charity’s humanitarian aid projects.
Expert for fundraising and networking.

www.aeqw.de

Jürgen Jeremia Lechelt (advisor)
Jürgen Jeremia Lechelt (advisor)
Jürgen Jeremia Lechelt

Deacon, educator

 

 

 

 

Addictive caregiver, nurse

As Managing Director of FairBunt Witten, and expert at Witten City Council, he has extensive contacts for the further development of the cooperation between the city of Witten and the support of the relief efforts of the association Etiopia-Witten. He visited Ethiopia with the association Etiopia-Witten. He advisor of the association board

Dr. Ursula Wahle
Dr. Ursula Wahle
Dr. Ursula Wahle

Founding member of Etiopia Witten.
Gynecologist in Münster. Longstanding humanitarian involvement in Africa and Asia, e.g. for medica mondiale, an organization that supports traumatized women and girls in war and conflict zones. Travel to various countries affected by famine-related problems. ‘It is our duty in the West to accept responsibility for the people in the developing world.’

www.gyn-ms.de

Dr. Ulrich Sommer
Dr. Ulrich Sommer
Dr. Ulrich Sommer

Founding member and member of the charity’s extended board.
Anesthetist and formerly principal consultant at the Marien-Hospital in Witten. Weeks of medical work in Ethiopia. Advisor to the Bishoftu Hospital’s anesthesia department.

Dr. George Bechara
Dr. George Bechara
Dr. George Bechara

Founding member and member of the charity’s extended board.
General practitioner in Witten. Many years’ experience and involvement in Arabic countries. Participated in all trips to Ethiopia.
General practice advisor to Ethiopian hospitals. Instructs local medical personnel in the use of donated equipment.

www.bechara.de

Dr. Michael Mönks
Dr. Michael Mönks
Dr. Michael Mönks

Founding member and member of the charity’s extended board.
General practitioner in Witten. Humanitarian involvement in Germany and abroad.
General practice advisor to Ethiopian hospitals. Instructs local medical personnel in the use of donated equipment.

David Grosse-Wentrup (head of medical engineering)
David Grosse-Wentrup
David Grosse-Wentrup

Graduate medical engineer.
Studied in Germany, Canada and China.
Since 2009, research assistant at the Zentrum für Medizintechnik und Ergonomie der Fachhochschule Münster (medical technology center at the Münster Polytechnic).
Since 2010, in charge of the charity’s medical engineering section. Work in Ethiopia, planning and coordination in Germany.

Homepage: www.mt-e.info
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