Important Updates from The Denan Project - Winter, 2017
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A report from Dick Young, President and Founder of The Denan Project
Emergency Food Shipment
for Denan

This is 4 year-old Bishar, who was unconscious when brought to our hospital and suffering from acute malnutrition. Children make up a large portion of patients at our hospital due to drought-related illnesses.

Having just returned from a trip to Ethiopia, I must share some of what is happening to the people of Denan. A severe drought, which experts are calling the worst in 50 years, has turned pastures into dry, parched land, killed scores of livestock, and emptied water supplies. As a result, our hospital is filled beyond capacity with record cases of malnutrition and disease caused by the lack of food, water and milk. Despite efforts by the Ethiopian government and other outside organizations, there is still a great need for assistance.

We are committed to helping the people of Denan by providing an emergency shipment of food within the next few weeks. It is our hope that this will help get the community through the worst of the drought until the rains begin again in the spring. We will also need to purchase additional medicines to serve the record numbers being treated at our hospital. In addition, our water tanker is in need of repair, as it is currently making additional daily runs over very rough terrain. We calculate that altogether, the costs will be about $45,000.

Any help you can offer at this difficult time would be greatly appreciated. As in the past, due to our Board’s generosity in covering our administrative costs, 100% of all donations will go directly to our projects, and can be ear-marked at your request.
Site Updates 

Denan, Ethiopia

A newly completed hut built in traditional style outside our hospital to house pregnant women from distant villages, prior to delivery. This part of our program to encourage women to give birth at our hospital rather at home, and prevent serious complications.

Our ongoing work in Denan continues. We are happy to report that our new, Somali-speaking doctor, Dr. Ahmed, is working out well. He graduated at the top of his class and is already making a positive difference in our efforts to serve the people of the area.

The construction of two new hospital rooms has also been completed on time and on budget, which is helping to ease overcrowding. This could not have been accomplished at a better time.

Turning to our work in economic development, more than 700 people are currently benefitting from our micro-loan program in Denan, which has a 100% repayment rate.


Our doctors travel by car and/or motorcycle to reach remote patients on the Mongolian steppes. 

Our hospital in Tariat is currently seeing roughly 25,000 patients a year. You may remember that its success led the Minister of Health of the region to ask us to expand our services to support an additional hospital in the town of Erdenemandal, which is about 4½ hours away. In addition to sending two of their doctors for advanced training in internal medicine and anesthesiology, we have also authorized the purchase of critical medical equipment for this hospital.

We are continuing our health education medical outreach program to groups of distant herder families. To accomplish this, our doctor travels across rough terrain to visit patients up to four hours away.


The beautiful new kusiwawa (pre-school) for children age 6 months to 5 years in Uratari.

In December, I, along with Board member Jeffrey Barist and volunteer Joan Barist, visited our project sites in Peru. We also had a separate meeting with Peruvian Congressman Wilbert Rozas, a good friend to TDP who made a special trip from Lima to see us and visit our project site.  

We are continuing to see about 400 patients per month at the Uratari health center and through our medical outreach and home visits, which provide a real service to villagers in distant, outlying communities.

Our education work in this area is continuing to go well – the two pre-schools we helped furnish serve about 70 kids, aged 6 months to 5 years, and is well attended. We also continue to provide scholarships to high school students looking to further their education. Our Golden Condor Scholar Awards given to the top three students in grades 8-12 continues to encourage kids to study.

Navajo Nation

A baby in a traditional cradleboard  (Photo Credit: Ed Cunicelli for the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health)

In the three Navajo Nation communities of Chinle, Pinon, and Tsaile, Arizona, we continue to provide support to the Family Spirit Program – a home-visiting initiative that promotes health and well being for mothers and their children, specifically designed for Native American families by the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health.

Evidence has shown that this program increases parenting knowledge and involvement and home safety, while decreasing rates of maternal depression as well as emotional and behavioral problems for mothers and children. These are important measurements within a community where 43% live below the poverty line.

As always, thank you for your continued support of The Denan Project. If you have any questions, or would like to get involved, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at

Best regards,


Our Board of Directors covers all administrative and fundraising costs so that 100% of every dollar you donate goes directly to our projects and the communities in which we work.

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Majel Peters

This month, we are happy to shine the spotlight on Majel Peters, a volunteer who has been able to bring her professional skills to The Denan Project with great results. Majel’s background in graphic design, art direction, and branding has enabled her to professionalize and improve our printed and emailed materials (including this newsletter!). Even little things like our Facebook and Twitter profile and Emergency Famine fundraiser graphic were created by Majel. She donates her time while balancing a full-time job and two young kids under the age of 3. We are very grateful for all her help!

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