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Angel Organizations of the Month

The Denan Project

The Denan Project

Denan is a small town with a camp for refugees and internally displaced persons located in the Ogaden region of remote eastern Ethiopia. The "New York Times" recently referred to it as a "mini-Darfur."


Photo Credit: Andrew Heavens

Mission Statement: The Denan Project is a nonprofit, grassroots organization whose volunteer members secure the necessary resources to provide free medical care, potable water, agricultural training, education, and other critical services for the people of Denan, Ethiopia and the surrounding villages. Working with regional government and nongovernmental agencies, its ultimate goal is to make the Denan area self-reliant by developing and implementing long-term, sustainable solutions.

Overview: Denan is not far from the border of Somalia and about 80 kilometers from Gode, the nearest town with electricity... sometimes. The Ogaden region is populated mostly by ethnic Somalis and has been devastated by drought, famine and an armed separatist movement. Temperatures soar daily to well over 110 degrees creating some of the most unbearable living conditions in all of Africa. The Denan Project was founded to provide qualified medical care to the people of Denan Ethiopia for the first time. Our hospital is the only free acute medical care in the Ogaden region which is populated by 5 million people.


Photo Credit: Jarret Schecter

From Clinic to 29 Room Hospital

The Denan Project was founded in 2003 by Dick Young after he traveled to a refugee camp near the village of Denan, in the Ogaden region, to film a documentary about the terrible conditions there. The refugee camp was in a precarious situation, with people dying daily.

When Young returned home to Woodbury, Connecticut-a town whose population is not much bigger than that of Denan-he could not forget what he saw and experienced in the Ogaden. He gathered a group of friends and neighbors and talked to them of the desperate plight of the refugees. The group formed The Denan Project with the shared dream of saving lives and giving hope to the people of Denan. By April 2004, they had raised enough money to open a tiny clinic in an abandoned, rundown two-room building.


Photo Credit: Jarret Schecter

With only one doctor, a nurse and three volunteers to run the clinic-and with no running water and no electricity-they opened the doors of the clinic on April 27, 2003. The word had already spread in the area, and that morning there were hundreds of villagers waiting to be treated. After 10 days we had exhausted our medical supplies. Young had to arrange for an emergency shipment of medicines to be sent from Addis Ababa. Since then, hard work by Denan Project members, generous donations, and a bit of good luck have turned the clinic into a 29-room hospital. We have an exceptionally dedicated support staff of more than 35 people to run the hospital and its related operatons, including a pharmacy, ultrasound equipment, and a laboratory capable of carrying out a battery of sophisticated tests. In addition, programs have been set up that include a maternity ward, vaccinations, and pre-natal and well-baby care. We also have a program fighting against female genital mutilation, and we have supplemental-feeding, anti-malaria, and medical-outreach programs. In each case, The Denan Project paid to have our doctors, technicians, and midwives trained in the operation and maintenance of the programs.

The Denan Project all supports water, agricultural, and educational projects.

Giving Opportunities to The Denan Project

$100 - Medical supplies for 1 day
$250 - 6 months of prenatal care for 1 woman
$250 - 6 months for well baby clinic
$500 - 1 meal a day for 1 month for inpatients
$600 - 1 month supply of diesel fuel for generator
$1,000 - 1 week's salary for 8 hospital staff
$1,500 - Medical outreach program for 2 months
$6,500 - Construction of a 20,000 liter reservoir
$10,000 - Program to fight female genital mutilation
$13,000 - 1 month of full operation for the hospital
$36,500 - Medicines and supplies for 1 year

To support The Denan Project, please mail your check to:
The Denan Project, Inc.
P.O. Box 543
Woodbury, CT 06798

or click here to donate online using a PayPal Account.

To learn more about The Denan Project, please click here to visit the website.

To view all Angel Organizations of the Month, please click here.


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