In this Q&A series we will be speaking with some of the people who help to drive the work of Project Harar. This month, we had a chat with our Ethiopian Programme Officer, Biniyam, who has been involved with Project Harar for over two years!

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Biniyam Geremew. I am a senior Public Health Officer and a full time Project Harar Ethiopia (PHE) employee as a Programme Officer.

What’s your background?

I am a 2015 Public Health (BSc) graduate. Since then, I have worked as an Out Patient Department case team leader, as the director of a government health center and at a district health office with a focus on under 5 year old's and nutrition.

I joined PHE in September 2017 as a coordinator of a project named "Community Based Speech Therapy for Children Born with Cleft in North Shewa, Oromia, Ethiopia". The 2019 Complex Mission is my second mission and I was the Ethiopian Project Coordinator for the mission.

What inspires you to continue working for Project Harar?

I joined PHE because I needed to change my work and to face another challenge, but what inspires me to continue with the organisation is that we can see the change we make on lives instantly, through both the Cleft work and the Complex Mission.The change is real and tangible. Nothing will inspire anyone more than seeing the impact you make on peoples’ lives directly.

Tell us about your day to day duties at Project Harar Ethiopia

  • Liaising with government officials: receiving updates on the identification of beneficiaries, the challenges they are facing and when to arrange a cleft lip and palate mission.
  • Following up with Community Based Rehabilitation Workers on how the Speech Therapy is going, ie the progress made by the individuals receiving the therapy.
  • Conducting meetings with stake holders of the speech project.
  • Enquiring about patients’ recovery through phone calls to their families and if needed, organising additional surgery for their child in hospital or for a follow-up.
  • Organising cleft missions with hospitals and surgeons.
  • Travelling to the field and collecting patients with cleft lip and palate to receive surgery in Addis, and arranging their transport back home after surgery.
  • Coordinating the Complex Mission in Ethiopia from start to finish.

What is the best thing about working for Project Harar?

Satisfaction and being part of one big family.

What have you learnt from your role at Project Harar?

Helping others to access the help they are in need of is more important than providing the help it self - being able to help those in need lets you sleep better!