Bringing Health and Empowerment to Ethiopia

by Project Whole Sky

$6,665 pledged of $15,000 goal
Tipping Point: $5,500
Ultimate Goal: $15,000
$6,665 pledged of $15,000 goal
0 days to go
This Campaign has ended

Campaign Overview

People to People's newest program, Project Whole Sky, develops Nursing Leadership programs and academic partnerships to improve healthcare delivery in Ethiopia.

Chris DeWilde named Director of Nursing Leadership for People to People!

Here's What I'll do with your help:

-My first mission calls me to join the People to People team in Ethiopia in March to begin this new venture. Project Whole Sky will do great work building nursing programs and setting up academic partnerships. 

-We will visit nursing schools, hospitals, and meet with the country’s leading health officials to build bridges between Ethiopian institutions, the diaspora, and U.S. nursing institutions.

-The end goal for all of our meetings is to increase the number of nurses in the country.

How You Can Help - A Message from Chris!

Thank you so much for taking the time to watch the video, read the campaign, and learn more about this amazing opportunity and enormous task I have in front of me!  I am so excited I can hardly breath!  As most of you know, I have long been fascinated in healthcare delivery in developing countries.  The position I have just accepted is exactly the kind of work I have dreamed of doing.  My first mission calls me to join the P2P team in Ethiopia in March to begin this new venture.

During our time in Ethiopia we will visit nursing schools, hospitals, and meet with the country’s leading health officials to determine how best to begin building bridges between Ethiopian institutions, the diaspora, and U.S. nursing institutions.  The end goal for all of our meetings is to increase the number of nurses in the country.  It’s a big task and I need your help.

One of the most amazing things about P2P is that it is an organization that has been built by the hands of committed volunteers every step of the way.  Nobody gets paid within the organization.  We all hold day jobs as physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.  The work that I will do in Ethiopia will be without pay, and in addition to the work I do everyday as a Research Nurse at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, a mom, and a graduate student.

If you haven't clicked on the "Venture" tab, you should.  Look up and to the left to find it.  Here, you will get all of the details about People to People and our history.  I'm not alotted enough room on this screen for all of that!

If you watched the video you saw some background on how I came to have the passion I do for Ethiopia.  It was in 2007 that I ventured on my first Nursing Mission.   My goal was simple...go someplace far away and learn something.  I did.  I learned that providing excellent health care means looking at the whole person, and that health interventions work best when they fit into the natural flow of a person’s life. Who better to do that than the the people of the country...of the culture.  In 2008 I went again, and again in 2009.  In 2010 I adopted from Ethiopia.

When picking up Zerihun I met his uncle.  We sat beneath a tree outside the orphanage with a translator and I learned about my son; his brothers and sisters, his mother, and his uncle’s own three small children.  Parting, after promises to keep in touch, I felt like I had a new family too.  

For the next 3 years I got to know my little man and watched my two boys become "true brothers" (non-stop fighting and competitiveness to the point that I want to kick both their butts to a far away land...mostly kidding).  I never doubted that I would again travel to a developing country and work as a nurse. Ethiopia seemed the obvious destination.

Project Whole Sky will do great work building Nursing programs in Ethiopia.  These programs will forward healthcare delivery in the country and empower Ethiopia's greatest untapped resource; women…fostering their ability to support their families by learning a much-needed skill and tending to health needs of their communities.  

Project Whole Sky got its name from its youngest member, Zerihun.  He didn’t know one word of English when he arrived. He soon coined the phrase “whole sky.”  It meant, “all the way.”  He would say, “I’m whole sky full” when he didn’t want any more dinner, or “I’m whole sky tired” when he was ready for bed, and my favorite, “I love you whole sky.”  We live under one sky and People to People is all the way committed to its work!  The name just made sense.

More information about People to People Global Network and the work we are doing is included in the "Venture" section...look up to the left to find the tab.  Check it out!

My parting words are this:

Working as a nurse in developing countries has made me a better nurse for our own patients in the United States.  While you may not have a direct connection to Ethiopia, you may know a nurse, have been treated by a nurse, or simply take comfort in knowing that should you should become ill there are nurses available to care for you.  

Please donate to help support my work in Ethiopia and receive a receipt for your taxes and a nifty gift!  Your donation will go a long way in all of the work we do. 

Mostly, please wish me great success!  I do this work because it is the thing that keeps me awake at night...not because I feel a duty to do it, but because I LOVE to do it! I appreciate your support in whatever form it comes.



P.S. By the way, be sure to use the following web address as you do research about People to People:  There’s another organization out there with the same name and apparently there has been some questionable activity within…just don’t want you to go to the wrong site!


Tipping Point Goal: $5,500

Total Funding Goal: $15,000

Funds raised will support my first mission to travel to Ethiopia and begin building bridges to infuse more nursing providers in Ethiopia.  Getting to Ethiopia is the first step...and the Tipping Point.  Reaching the Tipping Point covers the travel related costs of travel for me and a videographer and the initial work we do there.  The videographer will document our work with institution administrators and public health officials, the footage of which will be used to generate program specific future campaigns. Funds raised above the Tipping Point will help to seed our first projects:

-Establish a nursing education scholarship fund for new nursing students

-Solidify a partnership between one western institution and one Ethiopian nursing school with the goal of providing ongoing training and support

-Develop a health training program with the Boarding and Care Facility for HIV/AIDS orphan girls, thus offering a career path to Ethiopia’s most untapped resource; women.