A People’s Organization Building Its Own HQ ~FY2019 Activity Report (4) ENAPAL (Ethiopia)

A TV crew visits the building site on World Leprosy Day 2020.

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa in the eastern part of the continent. It is Africa’s oldest independent country. It hosts the headquarters of the African Union and in recent years has been developing rapidly as a political and economic center.

Ethiopia eliminated leprosy as a public health problem at the national level in 2000 but continues to see 3,000 to 4,000 new cases a year. Discrimination against persons affected by the disease persists and there are still many issues to be resolved.

The Ethiopian National Association of Persons Affected by Leprosy (ENAPAL) plays a central role in working to improve the situation. Since it was founded in 1996, it has cooperated with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and many other organizations to see that persons affected have access to appropriate medical care and social services. ENAPAL currently has over 20,000 members across seven regions where leprosy is still endemic and has been supported by Sasakawa Health Foundation (SHF) since 2001.

In 2017, after many years of negotiation, ENAPAL received land from the government in the capital, Addis Ababa. ENAPAL is now in the process of constructing a five-story building that it will use as its headquarters, while also renting out space to businesses and for events and conferences. It plans to put the income it generates toward the running of the organization. If this business model is successful, it is expected that ENAPAL will be able to operate sustainably.

Our foundation started providing support for this building project in 2019, deciding that it can become a model for other organizations of persons affected by leprosy in terms of strengthening an organization’s financial base. ENAPAL’s headquarters building in an up-and-coming area of the capital is expected to be completed in 2021.

Mr. Tesfaye Tadesse, the managing director of ENAPAL, says. “For persons affected by leprosy who have suffered from stigma and discrimination, the construction work that is progressing daily is a source of great pride and hope for the future.”

SHF is making every effort to contribute to this new chapter for ENAPAL and to the possibilities that lie ahead.

Five-story building under construction