International Fund for Africa
Issue: XXVIII  June, 2012
International Fund for Africa Newsletter
In This Issue:
Dr. Anteneh Roba, MD, Volunteers and Presents at Health Fair
Zibble, Inc. Supports IFA
IFA Joins Hands with Fellow NGOs in Ethiopia
A Mom's Testimonial
The Effects of Stress on Our Bodies: Nikita's Lesson
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 Thank You

The donations of our supporters, people like you, are largely responsible for the Foundation's positive impact as detailed in our newsletters. Thank you for your kind generosity and support in helping save lives and reduce suffering. Much more needs to be done, and it cannot happen without your support.


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Upcoming Events


July 19, 2012

IFA President/CEO, Anteneh Roba M.D., to be interviewed on The Dr. Don Show, a weekday broadcast live on KAAA and KZZZ 1490AM (Bullhead City, AZ) 3-4 PM PDT

5-6 PM CDT

6-7 PM EDT


August 2-5, 2012

IFA President/CEO, Anteneh Roba M.D., will speak at the Animal Rights 2012 National Conference in Washington, DC. IFA will also have an exhibit at the conference.


September 13-16, 2012

IFA President/CEO, Anteneh Roba M.D., will speak at the International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg.


November 16-18, 2012

IFA President/CEO, Anteneh Roba M.D., will speak in a session, called "Learnings from the International Fund for Africa" at the India for Animals 2012 Conference and Expo in Panjim, Goa, India. 


Fall-Winter, 2012

International Fund for Africa is sponsoring a medical mission to Zemero, Ethiopia.



Dr. Anteneh Roba, MD, Volunteers

and Presents at Health Fair 


On Saturday, June 23, 2012, IFA president and co-founder Dr. Anteneh Roba volunteered at a Free Health Fair for members of the Ethiopian community in need of medical care organized by the Ethiopian Community Organization, Women's Committee in Houston (ECOH), and the BZL club. Dr. Roba and other medical volunteers provided physical exams, blood pressure readings, Body Mass Index (BMI) readings, and blood sugar checkups free of charge. IFA also utilized the Free Health Fair as an opportunity to connect the American Ethiopian community in Houston with the organization's efforts in Ethiopia. Dr. Roba spoke to those attending the fair, highlighting IFA's numerous ongoing programs and plans for future work in the country.


Zibble, Inc. Supports IFA 


The mother/daughter-run company, Zibble, Inc., has recognized IFA as one of the organizations that shares common values and goals with the new company, which are, among other things, to urge people to adopt a plant-based diet as a healthier, more ethical alternative to food products made from animals. This inspired and inspiring company aims to make this world a little sweeter, kinder and greener for everyone.



The team launched the company at Houston VegFest on June 8, 2012, where Zibble, Inc. received an amazing response from the community. After raffling off a kids' table, the organization chose to donate the proceeds to IFA, in support of our own efforts in Ethiopia. By giving a percentage of its proceeds to help organizations like IFA, Zibble eagerly looks forward to continuing to give back to the community through the Frost Your Future campaign.


Find out more about Zibble, a company committed to spreading the message of compassion and respect for all, on their website at Their online store offers the company's first line of products: Delicious all natural, dairy-free frosting and dairy-free, egg-free mini cupcakes. With every bite, you can enjoy a variety of delectable treats while helping IFA and other non-profits work to create a better world.



IFA Joins Hands with Fellow NGOs in Ethiopia 


Throughout the year 2012, IFA has been working with various organizations in Ethiopia, both local and international, to form Memorandums of Understanding (MOU). Recognizing the power of collaboration, IFA will form specific project agreements with NGOs to develop a stronger working relationship with these organizations. These partnerships will help IFA, and other committed NGOs, to more effectively achieve our mutual goals.


In addition to these agreements between NGOs, IFA has also developed a closer relationship with the local health bureau in northern Shoa province, Ethiopia, as well as with the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. Through these combined efforts, IFA will lend its areas of expertise to help the Ministry achieve its Millennium Goals for a better Ethiopia.


A Mom's Testimonial 


The following statement recently reached IFA in an email by Sarah Stiltner, the mother of an adopted Ethiopian baby treated by the medical staff at Yekatit 12 hospital in Ethiopia, in December 2009. Sarah's words speak to the power of making every little difference we can; even small actions have great implications:


"My daughter was orphaned and left at the Yekatit 12 hospital in December 2009, where she spent a month in the NICU there...I realized that it was due to your organization's generous support and donations that my daughter is still alive. I will never be able to thank you enough for what you have done for my daughter, as well as so many other infants in the beautiful country of Ethiopia. Thank you so, so much."

--Sarah Stiltner


The Effects of Stress on Our Bodies: Nikita's Lesson


At the end of 2011 my beloved dog Lucky died. A week before he passed away my other dog, Nikita, started drinking a lot of water and excessively urinating. After two weeks of observing him I decided to take him to the vet, thinking he had developed diabetes. To my surprise, his test results revealed that Nikita had developed Cushing's disease, a condition caused by the overproduction of stress hormones in the body. As a physician familiar with the symptoms of Cushing's disease, I told the veterinarian that I just did not believe he had developed Cushing's disease. Instead, I believed the stress related to Lucky's illness and eventual death, in addition to our reaction to this event, had caused Nikita to release excessive stress hormones that mimicked, but did not actually develop, Cushing's disease. Of course, attributing anthropocentric traits to an animal was viewed as absurd, and the vet taking care of him immediately dismissed my hypothesis. Nevertheless, I proceeded to test my theory. When it came time to decide whether or not to treat Nikita for Cushing's disease, I decided to watch him closely, and repeat the lab test in six months. When the second round of results came in, we found they still suggested Cushings' disease as the culprit for his changed behavior. However, I had noticed his symptoms subsiding in the 6-month interim, without any medication, which further convinced me he was physiologically reacting to the intense pressure of watching his child hood buddy suffer and eventually die. This time, I chose to seek the help of a specialist at another hospital who examined Nikita, reviewed his lab work and agreed to retest him in another six months.


Just a few weeks ago, the third and final test results arrived. Amazingly, they showed that Nikita's stress hormone levels were back to normal. Meanwhile, as I had continued to watch him closely, I had noticed his symptoms fade away, and then completely disappear. By making the decision not to treat Nikita, I had saved him the agony of taking medications that would basically destroy his adrenal glands, the glands that produce the very important stress hormones.


Why is Nikita's story so important?


For us humans, Nikita's story shows us how deeply stress can affect not just our minds, but our bodies as well. It teaches us to live a holistic life that emphasizes prevention, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and decreasing our stress levels naturally through meditation, yoga, or other spiritual methods. Rushing to take medications not only results in often-unnecessary drug use, but also fails to address the root problem causing stress-induced symptoms.


Secondly, Nikita teaches us that all animals, whether dogs, pigs, horses, or humans, have emotions and feelings that impact the body. Although our non-human friends may not be able to verbalize their feelings, they nevertheless suffer from both physiological and mental conditions, in most cases, similar to ours. Anxiety, depression, and other aspects of mental anguish can affect these creatures just as much as it affects us. To dismiss this reality is to impose an artificial separation between humans and non-human animals that share more in common than we are often willing to recognize.


--Anteneh Roba, M.D.