Meskel is an important holiday for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It has been celebrated for more than 1,600 years and marks the finding of the True Cross. It is celebrated on 17 Meskerem in the Ethiopian calendar, which is the 27th of September in the Gregorian calendar.
There are nearly 50 million members in the Orthodox Church in Ethiopia. Large crowds gather in Meskel Square in the center of Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa. There is a large bonfire and a procession of people bearing torches, merging from all directions. The celebration lasts until dawn and includes traditional foods and music.
Meskel Celebration in a small village in Ethiopia
Adana Shisema celebrated Meskel by traveling 250 km (155 miles) to spend time with his extended family. They shared a meal of cultural foods that included kitfo and kocho, and enjoyed socializing with one another and with local villagers.
Adana Shisema and Family
Oral health in childhood impacts long-term health. Poor oral hygiene can lead to pain, disfigurement, tooth and bone loss, and systemic disease.
Ethiopia is part of the “Noma belt”, a region of Africa with the highest prevalence of a severely painful dental disease (Noma) that eats away at facial tissue and has a mortality rate of 90%. There are 140,000 new cases of Noma each year, primarily in rural, sub-Saharan Africa.
We provide children in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia with dental hygiene products to protect their oral health. We are always in need of dental professionals to provide services to the children for more comprehensive oral care.
If you are a dental hygienist, dentist, oral surgeon, dental student, or other oral health practitioner, we invite you to reach out to us about opportunities to travel to our ministry site in Ethiopia and provide care for hundreds of precious children.
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