Project Manager Christel Ahrens

The ProjektKoordinatorin Christel Ahrens introduces itself:

Understanding the Podo work

Wash feet – who goes there not Jesus in the sense, who has washed his disciples feet before the last supper? Even the explicit invitation, him to do. With Podo foot hygiene belongs to the therapy. Our commitment is also an update of Jesus order. So, it is understood by employees and interested parties in Ethiopia.

My background in Ethiopia

I, Christel Ahrens, am since 1988 in the Ethiopian health system “on the road”. Began my career as a nurse and midwife in the West of the country at a clinic of the Evangelical Church of Mekane Yesus Ethiopia (EECMY). The hospital consisted of an ambulance, 20 inpatient beds and ca. 250 Deliveries per year. My next stop was the coordination of 15 Clinics. After a master's degree in London am International Institute of child health I worked for the GTZ in the country's North and West of the capital. This was a bet with a Norwegian mission followed at a State hospital in the East and the further utilisation of the West.

In new ways

Since 2009 I'm working for and with people, by Podokoniose (short Podo) are affected. Podo is a neglected tropical disease from the >1 Million Ethiopians are affected. They live mostly in the country, are income-poor and 2/3 Women. This matches exactly the target group, I always wanted to reach.

It's exciting to participate in the study of a disease. In two studies, we could determine their prevalence in Western of Ethiopia and attention for the first time in the literature on the extent of acute inflammation of lymphatics in Anna. Parallel to his scientific work, I organized in the place of the Mekane Jesus Church community Podo self-help groups.

Health care – Other than usual

  1. Who is footsore, can run not far. The group performed in the villages, d.h. We are working with often long distances by public transport or on foot.
  2. Those affected are included. If you want to be healthy, need to do something about it yourself. We say and show them, What is needed. We have thus adopted by the clinical supply principle. There are no white smocks and gloves.
  3. Those affected are often poor. Nevertheless it must be to 50% participate in the cost of materials. This avoids dependencies and the people can be proud and say: I made it myself.
  4. What we will need locally produced, z.B. medical soaps and oils, also shoes. This locally created income opportunities. In addition, transport costs were reduced.

Christel Ahrens and the Podo employee Dinkinesh Degefa

My stone and many other stones in the mosaic of the Podoarbeit

I'm on behalf of Podo e.V. all about logistics, Visits and meetings, Applications and reports. My Landeserfahungen and personal contacts benefit work.

The implementation on site includes conduct a Podo - self-help groups, to inform and to consult - the people lies in the hands of ten invested of from different disciplines, from the cleaning lady to to the special school teachers. Ten more employees work in the SOAP, Oil- and footwear production.


By 2009-2016 could we ca 12.000 Reaching people through self help groups. There have been 50,000 Informs students about Podo. For two years we conduct surveys. The results of 1000 Show interviews: The most discussed have now healthy feet and are also economically back on healthy feet.