Information About: Ethiopia


MMI Canada has partnered with HOPEthiopia, an organization based in Calgary, Alberta, that is committed to restoration of both the people and the land of Ethiopia. MMI Canada will be working together with HOPEthiopia to bring primary care, dental care, and vision services to the country starting in 2015. 

 HOPEthiopia works in several areas within the country: community development, sustainable agriculture, peace gardens, and reforestation.  HOPEthiopia specifically works with orphaned children and elderly pastors, both very vulnerable populations. 

Project Sites

  • Harbu Chulule

General Overview

Projects will work with the HOPEthiopia community to provide primary care, dental care, and vision care, including ophthalmic surgery. The population in the HOPEthiopia community is based around those in society who are in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect. 

Projects could also travel outside of the HOPEthiopia community and provide needed services. 


Project Details

About Harbu Chulule

Harbu Chulule is a small region about 100km away from the capital Addis Ababa in the centre of Ethiopia, which is located in the Horn of Africa. The population of Harbu Chulule is landlocked, and has suffered from drought and deforestation, thus food and water scarcity affect most residents. It is not uncommon for children to have to follow families to find water. Most families rely on intermittent shipments from the World Food Programme.  Water-borne illnesses due to low sanitation are highly prevalenrt. There is a massive shortage of physicians in the country. Ethiopia is known as the origin of the coffee plant, and has over 31 endemic species. 


2450 m (8000 ft)


Semi-arid highland.
Dry season: October - February. Dry and temperate.
Wet season: March - September. Wet and temperate.
Average High: 25°C (77°F)
Average Low: 7°(44°F)

Quick Facts


Ethiopia has a population of 87.9 million with over 80 ethnic groups, the two largest of which are the Oromo (35%) and the Amhara (27%). Ethiopia underwent a restructuring of the political system in the early 1990s, and since 1996 has remained a federal democratic republic with a division of nine ethnically based autonomous states called kililoch, which are subdivided into woredas responsible for the day-to-day health systems. The economy of Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing in the world, however since severe droughts in 2009, agriculture has been severely impacted, specifically the main exports of coffee and maize. Inflation rates as high as 40% led to subsequent difficulty with debt repayments and slowdown of growth. About 16% of the population in Ethiopia are living on less than one dollar per day. 

Major droughts  have also affected the health status of the country: only 65% of rural households in Ethiopia consume the minimum standard of food per day (2,200 kilocalories), with 42% of children under 5 years old being underweight. This has led to high amounts of infectious disease that are exacerbated by poor sanitation, malnutrition, and co-habitation with livestock. Emigration of skilled professionals has resulted in a 'brain drain' in the country, and a severe shortage of skilled health professionals. It is estimated to have 1 physician for every 100, 000 persons, with most professionals concentrated in the capital.  Despite this, infant mortality continues to decrease and rests at 8%, while life expectancy continues to increase: it is currently 58 years. 

School enrollment is at approximately 69% of urban individuals in primary school, while secondary school has 35% enrollment; this places Ethiopia as one of the highest among African countries. Literacy rate continued to increase, and currently stands at 82%. 

Ethiopian cuisine is quite different than Western cuisine: popular dishes include: wat, a thick meat stew and injera, a sourdough flatbread. Dishes are served family style, and utensils are not used - instead injera is used as a form of spoon. Long-distance running is the most popular sport, and E
thiopian athletes have won many Olympic gold medals in track and field.

Ethiopia has a diverse climate due to varying elevations, thus is home to over 31 endemic mammalins species and 20 endemic avian species. Many of these species are endangered due to habitat loss through deforestation, including the Ethiopian Wolf. Ethiopia is also the origin of the coffee bean, the mouth of the Nile River, and the sight of the largest cave in Africa at Sof Omar. 



Eastern Africa, west of Somalia


8 00 N, 38 00 E





5,925 km


Djibouti 342 km

Eritea 1,033 km

Kenya 867 km 

Somalia 1,640 km

South Sudan 1,299 km

Sudan 744 km


0 km (landlocked)


None (landlocked)



Varies with altitude; tropical monsoon in lowlands, semi-arid temperate steppe  in mountains


High plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley



Danakil Depression -125 m


Ras Dejen 4,533 m


Country Entry Requirements

Travelers must present a passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required, if you have visited a country where yellow fever occurs.  For a list of countries please see:

Canadians: Travel Visa is required and can be obtained prior to departure or upon arrival in Addis airport at a cost of $50 USD. Visas are valid from the date of issue, not the date of arrival. For more information on the visa application process, please check this website:
Please check the following website for the most current entry/exit requirements:

Americans: Travel visa is required at a cost of $70 USD, and it is recommended to obtain the visa more than 30 days prior to departure. Visas are valid from the date of issue, not the date of arrival. For more information on the visa application process, please check this website:
For more information see the US State Department website:

Medical/Dental Professionals

Please send a copy of the following to the MMI Canada office:

  • Current license
  • Current diploma 
  • CV for MD, DDS, DMD, RN/LN, RPN/LPN, NP, PA, and surgeons
  • Surgeons - Surgical privileges list  


Once you have been accepted on the project, we will provide our designated travel agent information so that you can arrange your travel in order to coordinate logistics of the team.

Canadian Applicants: Donations for travel are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.

US Applicants: Travel costs are arranged individually and are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.


Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)

Lodging and Accommodations

The team will stay at guest house facilities while on project in Ethiopia. 

Bed Linens/Sleeping Bag: provided
Bath Towels: provided
Mosquito Netting: bring your own
Laundry Service: available for additional fee
Hot Water: possibly
AC: not available
Phone Service: check with your cell phone provider
Wifi: not available
Voltage: 220V (transformers and adaptors required)  - Electricity is often limited
Meals: Meals are provided by HOPEthiopia staff. Be sure to bring your own re-usable water bottle with a wide mouth for refilling. Purified water is supplied.


Language: Amharic, Oromo


  • Ethiopian Orthodox: 43%
  • Islam: 34%
  • Protestant: 18%
  • Other: 5%

Government: Democratic Republic

Time: Time in Ethiopia is counted differently from in many Western countries.The Ethiopian day is reckoned as beginning at 6 AM as opposed to 12 AM, concurrently with sunrise throughout the year. To convert between the Ethiopian clock and Western clocks, one must add (or subtract) 6 hours to the Western time. 


Currency is the Ethiopia birr. 

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