Check out the latest in ASC news: Organization of the year, big honors to our advocacy director, a spotlight on ASC Ethiopia (including a fundraiser in Addis Ababa!), the unveiling of ASC's Immigrant Community Law Center and much more!

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African Services Committee News
Photos by Kim Nichols

A drought threatens the already fragile foundations of many of Ethiopia's most vulnerable families. With five mobile units and therapeutic ready-to-use pediatric nutritional supplements and vitamins, African Services Committee Ethiopia is preparing to help the poorest of the poor survive the looming famine. With three of our five clinics (Zeway, Kombolcha and Mekele) located within the most drought-stricken areas, your continued support is critical. Please click here and donate to African Services Ethiopia today.

ASC co-Executive Director, Kim Nichols sits with ASC Ethiopia Mekele clinic pharmacy and laboratory staff.
Spotlight on ASC Ethiopia

Traveling hundreds of miles from African Services Ethiopia headquarters and HIV/ TB testing and integrated care clinic in Addis Ababa to our clinics located in Zeway and Mekele, ASC's co-executive director Kim Nichols, and her mom, Ann, recently spent a very busy two weeks visiting three of our clinics in Ethiopia.

These annual trips provide an opportunity to witness first hand our clinics' higher levels of service, providing diagnostics, state of the art laboratory monitoring, and treatment for patients with HIV and TB, as well as supporting patients coming to these clinics with family planning and reproductive care, supplemental nutrition, and microlending for small business development, which has helped some of the most destitute of HIV-affected households.

This trip also brought into focus additional services ASC is in an ideal position to provide, in large part to combat harsh new realities facing ASC clients, who comprise the most vulnerable children and families in the country. 

"Cervical cancer screening would be enormously relevant for ASC Ethiopia because of the huge risk of cervical cancer among poor women in Ethiopia - especially commercial sex workers and HIV positive women," said Dr. Fitsum Kibret, supervising physician at ASC Ethiopia's Henry van Ameringen Health and Community Development Center in Addis Ababa. ASC's Zeway and Mekele clinics have also started rapid testing and treatment for malaria. 

African Services operates five HIV testing and integrated care clinics, in five regions of Ethiopia, providing more than 20,000 children, women, and men with HIV and TB testing and treatment each year, nutrition for more than 7,000 children and pregnant women, reproductive health for more than 6,000 women and girls, new shoes for nearly 18,000 children (improving school attendance and helping to prevent the spread of intestinal parasites), and income-generating support for nearly 100 families.

After two days at ASC's Addis Ababa Shola clinic, ASC Founder Asfaha Hadera, Kim and Ann spent a half day driving south to our clinic is Zeway where they met with a beneficiary of ASC's sheep-fattening micro-lending project, pictured above, who has tripled the number of sheep since beginning this PEPFAR grant-supported program. Selected women receive training in the care and importance of vaccinating and providing their new animals with a protein-rich diet. The initiative has helped many women like her profit from their sheep and achieve financial independence. 

"She's been able to send her three children to school because now she has money for school fees and supplies. She also says her health has improved because she has more to eat - as do her kids," Kim said.

"Her children are also getting nutritional support from ASC and she gets her ART drugs, care and HIV monitoring tests from ASC."

In the Fall of 2010, in collaboration with Castel Winery and BGI, African Services expanded to the southern region of Ethiopia with the Blavier Health and Community Development Center, in Zeway. In addition to micro-lending projects, the clinic provides community outreach and HIV prevention education; counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS; CD4 testing; vitamin and nutritional supplement distribution. Click here to learn more about our Zeway clinic.     

They also visited women in Mekele who participated in an ASC partnership with the French Embassy, which trained more than 100 commercial sex workers in traditional and modern hair styling. The training enabled participants to leave behind work in the sex industry by turning income-generating skills into sustainable sources of income. Commercial sex workers are regular clients who come to our clinics for free condoms, to participate in peer support discussions, as well as for care and support services for themselves and their children.

The ASC Health and Community Development Center, based in Mekele, was established in March 2007. Mekele is ASC's northernmost clinic, based in the Tigray Region, Asfaha's hometown. This clinic is based on the outskirts of Mekele, which is quickly becoming a principal economic and education center in Ethiopia. Services provided include community outreach and HIV prevention education; counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS; CD4 testing; vitamin and nutritional supplement distribution; micro lending for people living with HIV, and children's shoe distribution, and malaria and hepatitis B testing.

"Every other hospital or clinic in Mekele charges for their services - African Services Committee is free," said ASC Mekele's Site Coordinator, Abraham Gebrehiwot.

A visit to the second of African Services Ethiopia's two honey farms in Wukro is pictured above, which comprises 12 hives that produce approximately 13 kgs each (roughly 28 lbs) of delicious, pure honey per hive. A scattering of natural springs near this farm, which is coming up on its one-year anniversary, boosts the farm's honey production.

ASC's beekeeper suits up alongside family before heading out to the honey farm.

The travelers wrapped up their time in Ethiopia where it began, visiting ASC Ethiopia headquarters and the  Henry van Ameringen Health and Community Development Center, located in the Shola Market in Addis Ababa, which was the first location established upon ASC's return to Ethiopia in September 2003. Located in the largest open-air market in Addis, this clinic provides free services to more than 6,000 of the most vulnerable people in this community, each year.

"We were the first ones to start free HIV testing and counseling in 2003," said Asfaha.

Some equipment and supplies are direly needed, such as a new generator, which provides clinics with much-needed power during frequent electrical outages in Addis Ababa. There is also a nationwide shortage of HIV test kits. Thanks to a recommendation from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health Regional Labs, Becton Dickinson was repairing one of the CD4 units at our Zeway clinic at the time of this visit. All five ASC Ethiopia clinics conduct these tests free of charge to clients and to a number of NGOs, clinics and hospitals.   

Visits to Ethiopia are not complete without a stop atop Entoto Mountain, home to members of ASC's Positive Kids program. "Every time I go back I follow up and see how everyone is doing," said Kim.

The program has served more than 40 HIV positive children who enrolled in our Pediatric HIV/AIDS case management program more than a decade ago. The program helped these children and their families, who live geographically isolated from the capital and far from most public health interventions, to access HIV and TB testing, treatment and care, supplemented by nutritional support, shoe distribution, and income generating projects.

"ASC's income generating programs on Entoto Mountain really show that access to a little capital can be the only thing standing between someone being successful or not. And once they have capital they don't seem to fail," Kim said.

Many of the original Positive Kids are approaching their teens and have grown up with dreams of attending secondary school, but funding is short.

"Now is the time to invest further: A donation of as little as a $1000 could pay for their entire secondary school fees, which would give them a really good shot at getting into university. We're talking about a dozen children, average age around 10. It would be so amazing."

-- Kim Nichols. Click here to donate to ASC Ethiopia and select Positive Kids Education Fund to help make their academic dreams a reality

Ann, Kim Nichols' mom, visited ASC's Mekele, Zeway and Addis Ababa clinics with Kim and Asfaha.

Whether it is to support our mobilization to help the most vulnerable families survive the severe drought, provide free HIV and TB testing, treatment and care, or nutritional support, education support or income generating projects to the poorest of the poor - please click here to donate today. We rely on your support and hope that you will continue to remember ASC in your giving.  

African Services Committee Ethiopia will be acknowledging the humanitarian work of some of our greatest supporters at what will be a spectacular event on Sat., May 14, 2016, at the Mosaic Hotel in Addis Ababa.

Click here for updates! 

African Services Committee to be awarded
  Member of the Year at NYIC's 2016 Gala

African Services Committee is honored to be named Member of the Year at the New York Immigration Coalition's 2016 Gala, May 24.

The New York Immigration Coalition, or NYIC - an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for 175 organizations that work with immigrants and refugees across New York City and State - is a leading advocate for immigrant communities on the local, state, and national levels, bringing together multi-ethnic and multi-sector constituencies to pursue a common agenda. The NYIC's Annual Awards Gala, in turn, recognizes diversity, energy, and the drive for positive change.

ASC is thrilled to be honored alongside a number of champion supporters of immigrant communities in the United States, including Joyce Chang, Global Head of Research at J.P. Morgan. A luminary in global finance, Ms. Chang - the daughter of Chinese immigrants - has been an outstanding leader for the Asian immigrant community.  Josefina Vázquez Mota - businesswoman, economist and politician - was Mexico's first female presidential candidate, and has helped support and highlight Mexican immigrants in New York and across the country.   Finally, Suzette Brooks Masters - longtime immigrant advocate and former Program Director for Migration at the J.M. Kaplan Fund - will receive a Special Achievement Award for her deep dedication, outstanding thought leadership and tremendous impact on immigrant integration in New York and the United States through her tenure at the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

Click here for more information and tickets.

ASC's Amanda Lugg to be awarded at
Annual #qi3 Awards Dinner

Congratulations to ASC's Director of Advocacy Amanda Lugg! Amanda is being honored by Queer Detainee Empowerment Project at the upcoming #qi3 Queering Immigration Awards Dinner for her decades of service for the LBGTQI, immigrant and HIV/AIDS community in NYC and nationally! #qi3: Queering Immigration Conference is the "largest gathering of LGBTQI immigrants/ previously detained/ asylum seekers, organizers, service providers, legal workers, healthcare providers, community healers, and more in the world."

Click here for ticket info and more.   

ASC Unveils New Nominal Fee Clinic:
Immigrant Community Law Center

For newcomers who do not qualify for our free legal services, ASC's nominal fee legal clinic has expanded with the new name: Immigrant Community Law Center, or ICLC. ICLC's licensed attorneys provide affordable immigration legal services to all immigrants, including helping immigrants in immigration court, or assisting newcomers in getting a work permit, green card, citizenship, family petition and more.

A $40 fee for initial consultation with a licensed attorney will apply. The initial consultation with an ICLC licensed attorney typically covers review of an individual's current status in the United States and discussion of what options may be available to adjust the individual's immigration status. Click here to learn more about ICLC's consultation fee.

Immigrants can contact ICLC at (212) 222-3882 to make an appointment or visit our Harlem office at 429 West 127th Street between Morningside and Amsterdam Avenues, near the 125th Street Metro Station A, C, B, D, and 1 trains. Office hours are 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Click here to learn more.

Walk with us May 15th or Donate to
 ASC's Ethiopia Pediatric HIV Program

"In the future, we and your own children will join hands to celebrate an old but new world filled with justice, plenty of food to eat, clothes to cover our body, clean drinking water, safe streets and good schools, hospitals and clinics for all."

- from children in our pediatric HIV program
100% of proceeds will directly support the nutrition needs of children receiving treatment and care at our HIV clinics in Ethiopia.        
Just $25 can provide food for a child for one month. Click here to learn more about joining ASC's team or to donate.  

ASC legal staff wish volunteer Juan Rivera (center) farewell after six months of dedicated legal service

Thank You for Your Service Juan!
African Services will miss the exceptionally professional and amicable Juan Rivera, who volunteered his legal knowledge for ASC's legal clinic a few days a week for six months - often also providing much-needed Spanish translation on busy PRUCOL days. Until next time Juan! We will miss you!
Partner Profile: Addressing Financial Needs of the
African Diaspora in NYC

With the filing deadline for IRS tax returns looming, ASC community partner
Pan-African Community Development Initiative is holding free tax preparation at Mothers on the Move, 928 Intervale Ave. in the Bronx on Wednesdays, Saturdays from 1 pm to 6 pm and Sundays from 10 to 5 pm. Walk-ins are welcome. Contact Adama Bah at 929.324.0094 for more information.

Founded by Alpha Amadou Diallo in 2013 to help combat poverty and underemployment in the African immigrant community in New York,  Pan-African CDI, Inc., is a grassroots organization based in the South Bronx, whose purpose is to promote the economic advancement of low-income and immigrant communities in New York through services, trainings and education, as well as a community-run credit union. 
"Our objective is to transform the African immigrant experience by combating economic illiteracy and implementing a positive constructive program for rebuilding communities and reorienting the ownership of local resources," said Diallo, who is originally from Guinea and grew up in the Bronx.

"Equal access to financial services is critical
for a just and equitable society."

- Alpha Diallo, Founder of Pan-African CDI
The CDI also provides direct assistance to immigrants interested in starting their own childcare business or obtaining a hair-braiding/cosmetology license. They also plan on offering a range of programs including job training, skill development, business support and certifications, fiscal edification, and help for those applying for food assistance.
At the heart of the organization, Diallo has been working for the last five years to establish a community-led credit union, which would address the financial needs of the African immigrant community in the New York.
"Pan-African Federal Credit Union would be a low-income designated credit union, a community development financial institution dedicated to serving the African immigrant population and the economic revitalization of the Bronx," said Diallo. "While Pan-African FCU was designed with the African diaspora in mind, it will serve anyone who lives, works, studies and/or worships in our designated area."

Click here to learn more about this community development initiative.  
All Smiles at ASC!

Amazon makes is easy to support ASC programs. When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to African Services Committee. All you need to do is bookmark the link and support us every time you shop!

Click here to support ASC when you shop.
Upcoming in NYC
Eirik Omlie, Communications Director Recommends:



FRIDAY, APRIL 22 at 7:30 pm
" Dreaming Zenzile" is a modern jazz opera based on the extraordinary life of South African singer and political activist Miriam Makeba.  Performed and written by vocalist & songwriter Somi, it features reinterpretations of Makeba's popular repertoire through the jazz idiom as well as original songs reflecting on Makeba's life journey.

Dreaming Zenzile has been made possible through the French American Jazz Exchange, a joint program of FACE Foundation and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with generous funding from Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, SACEM, Institut Français and the Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication.  Dreaming Zenzile was developed in part during a residency at Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York, NY.

African Services Committee would like to thank the Apollo Theater for offering free tickets to select ASC clients. Thank you Apollo!

Click here for ticket info and to learn more.  

Youssou NDOUR to perform at BAM

May 20 to May 21, 2016 at 8 pm

"NDOUR has created a musical context that's as large with possibilities as his sinuous, spine tingling singing."
-Rolling Stone

The Dakar-born singer and composer returns to BAM for two evenings with his longtime band, Le Super Étoile de Dakar, and a tribute to Senegalese drummer Doudou N'Diaye Rose, who passed away last year.

Click here for ticket info. 

B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
April 21, 2016 at 9:00 PM 
Alpha Blondy, the superstar reggae man from Ivory Coast, should need no introduction. He has been active on the scene since the eighties, a real grower of hits turned classics, from "Brigadier Sabary" to "Jerusalem", not forgetting "Afriki" and "Apartheid Is Nazism".

And yet, in spite of his status of Commander of the African Groove, Alpha reinvents himself album after album. He has always steered clear of the pitfalls of formatting and tried to bring in something new to the mix.
Click here for ticket info.

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