Bottles for Poverty: Recycling Garbage & Building Schools

Robel Haile, a college student at UC Davis, is an alchemist. He is turning garbage into schools

After hearing Dr. Rick give the graduation speech at UC Davis Medical School, Robel started a student group –  Bottles for Poverty, to recycle garbage and donate the proceeds to JDC in Ethiopia to build rural schools. It’s a “win-win” project – California ends up with cleaner streets, Ethiopia ends up with more schools for rural girls and boys who have no school nearby. At this moment, JDC has over 20 schools in rural Gondar province functioning at this time, plus several others  under construction.

Here are photos of Robel taken with Dr. Rick last spring, and today’s recycling activities.

We hope to clone Robel and his activities in the future!

Dr. Rick Hodes

Robel Haile with Dr. Hodes Recycling Day Recycling day Recycling Day

Our thanks to Henry Schein, Inc.

As we send more of our patients out for heart surgery in India and America, more patients require follow up care in Ethiopia. Patients suffering from rheumatic heart disease often need their native valves replaced with mechanical valves.

These patients require lifelong oral blood thinners (warfarin or coumadin). They must have periodic blood tests to monitor their blood coagulation after surgery and adjust the dose accordingly. In the past, we sent our patients labs in Addis Ababa to check their INR test.

Now things have improved: Henry Schein, Inc donated a portabe INR machine, about the size of a pocket calculator, that allows us to check our patients’ blood in our own clinics, on our own time. The portable machine can be easily brought anywhere in the country. This machine will save us and our patients money and time. The machine was hand-delivered to us, and is now in frequent use.

Pictured below is Almaz, a 12 year old girl who suffered from mitral valve disease when she came to us. She was very sick for years, abandoned by her family, and had dropped out of school.

We’ll have a separate entry on Almaz, because she has her own amazing story which is worth telling. She has started school and visits us in clinic to check her INR and say hello.

Thank you, Henry Schein, Inc!

Dr. Rick Hodes