New York, New York – (March 8th, 2014) The panel discussion took place in New York in commemoration of International Women’s Day. It was attended by Native American performers, Beth Lamor, Pam Timmons, UN woman group, caravan TV representatives and all invited guests arrived at 12:30 PM at 310 East Forty second street New York, NY on March 8th, 2014.The panelists were Ms. Nancy Solomon, Ms. Helen Afework (who directly came from Ethiopia who is a student researcher on immigrant domestic workers), Mrs. Velma D. Bank and Dr. Georgina Falu (who is a board member of ESAC and the moderator of the event).
Dr. Georgina Falu- the moderator in red
Dr. Georgina Falu, as moderator, started the program by introducing the chairperson to give the remark for the event.Ms. Zewditu Fesseha, founder of ESAC, welcomed the attendees and gave a remark about the international women’s day by saying ” there is a long way to go in the women struggle especially women from Ethiopia trying to find a job in the gulf states who are experiencing hard times and a lot of abuse”. After Ms. Fesseha’s opening remarks, Dr. Falu brought other guest panelists on stage to elaborate on general Women’s issue.
Guest Panelists from Left to Right: Helen Afework, Bizu Riki, Velma D. Banks, and Zewditu Fesseha.
With this in mind she invited the first panelist Ms. Nancy Salamone. Nancy Salamone is an author and former Wall Street Executive who is an advocate against Domestic Abuse because she was victim of it. Due to her experience, Nancy spoke about women’s issues being very complex and she stressed that we have to work together to address the issues. She also spoke about how saddened she was when she watched a video showing an Ethiopian woman being beaten by Saudi men. She said, “is it a game to show their bravery? I’am astonished by how they could post this video on Youtube for everyone to go and see this horrific activity.” She continued saying” The women in the video was hanged upside and beaten viciously until she lost conscious and it’s saddening to see the world we live in and the abuse of these Ethiopian women. “. She also added ” let’s stand beside ESAC in addressing the issue of Ethiopian Women Domestic workers Violence in the Gulf countries. The beating of these woman in Saudi is a barbaric thing and this has to be stopped and the people there should be taken responsible for their actions. ESAC is working to address the issue and finding a solution for it.”
Next panelist, is Ms. Helen Afework who spoke about the abuse of Ethiopian Women Domestic Worker’s in the gulf-states and how brutal it is. She spoke about these Ethiopian Women not having legal rights, and to consider their way of reaching the Gulf-states (whether it was through illegal or legal channel), no matter what both are being abused. She also showed images and presentation on her thesis regarding Ethiopian Women Domestic Worker Abuse by the international media. With this observation, Helen added “the Ethiopian Government must educate these Ethiopian women/girls before they think about leaving. Even though, at this moment, the legal channel itself, it does not give these Ethiopian women enough support and education to endure the challenges ahead of them in these gulf-states. These women rely on influences of friends who may be lucky and their experiences.” She continued by saying “there is not enough resources for these women and girls to stay in Ethiopia”. Ms. Afework concluded by suggesting that ESAC work with local NGO to help for these women that desperate need and deserve.
After Ms. Afework’s presentation and speech, Buzu Rikki, who is an Ethiopian Jew from NY and founder of Chassida Shmella, gives her perspective of Ethiopian Women of Israel who are also facing women issues (on the international level). She explains that Ethiopian Jewish Women in Israel are abused by their husbands because the man (as the head of house) could not find a job in Israel and provide for his family. For the women, it is easy to find a job as a domestic worker and this changes the dynamic because she ends up being the head of the household and becomes the provider for the family. The situation creates conflict among the man as he feels he didn’t fulfill his duty and abuses his wife as a result of it. This is one scenario of Ethiopian women issues faced in Israel and Ms. Rikki concluding by saying “the abusers end up in prison and it took a lot of work to make that happen”. Often, coming from Ethiopia, with no education, this is the problem these Ethiopian Women Domestic Worker’s face.
Dr. Falu then presented the final panelist, Miss. Velma D. Banks who has organized and developed support groups like the Advancement of Colored People, Urban League, Black Solidarity Day and many more. Miss. Banks spoke about women’s issue being a human rights issue. She elaborate and explained how the two areas overlap one another and how we must recognize this issue. As the International Women’s Day 2014 ESAC event culminated, the floor was given to the audience to ask questions and give suggestions. Many great ideas and suggestions were discussed and ESAC is continuing to create awareness about the Ethiopian Women Domestic Worker Abuse in Gulf-states. Based on the first resolution, ESAC is still trying to initiate dialogue with hosting Gulf-states until a lasting solution is created. ESAC is anticipating it’s next annual International Women’s Day hopefully with this problem being resolved permanently.
Native American Performers
Click here for this event’s flier:
New York, NY (December 10, 2013) — Despite uninviting snow storm in New York City, ESAC and protesters held a candlelight vigil in front of Saudi Arabian Mission to United Nations in memory of Ethiopian Migrant Victims of Saudi Arabian abuse.
During the event of Nelson Mandela’s untimely death, ESAC remembers Mandela’s contribution to equality and human rights. On December 10th, a day commemorating Human Rights all around the world; ESAC and protesters came together to also remember Ethiopian Migrant Victims who suffered and died in result of their basic human rights being violated. The abuse of the Ethiopian Domestic workers abroad must come to an end and we continue to request and make sure Saudi Arabia is held responsible and that we will not give up until we get a lasting and substantial solution to this problem. We (ESAC) ask that these victims not suffer in vain but that Ethiopians who are still trapped and voiceless, be noticed and be freed without reservation.
As Nelson Mandela once said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
In the wake of the violence against Ethiopian workers and immigrants in Saudi Arabia, ESAC is going to demonstrate in front of the Saudi Arabia Mission.
New York,NY (November 18th, 2013) — With the current situation for Ethiopians in the Mid-East, many Ethiopian domestic workers and immigrants are being abused in the form of torture, rape, beating, murder and etc… These Ethiopian domestic workers and immigrants commit no crime as they just desire the opportunity to work, provide and simply survive. ESAC and many Ethiopians in New York plan to protest in front of the Saudi Arabian Mission with hopes that the Saudi Arabian Mission will live up to its international responsibility to protect migrant workers and immediately end the of abuse of these vulnerable human beings. We demand that Saudi Arabian Mission end the gross violation of basic human rights and to launch a thorough and independent investigation into the killings and bring those responsible accountable.
ESAC and protesters will hold a peaceful demonstration in front Saudi Mission, on the corner of 46th street between 1st and 2nd street NY, NY. Anyone is welcome to support this cause and join our demonstration against the abuse of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia. If you want to attend and demonstrate, the flier is attached below:
During the month of October, ESAC hosted an event for Ethiopian adopted children while celebrating Ethiopian New Year. Due to an unwarranted guest a.k.a hurricane Sandy came and chased everyone who was invited, to not attend even though we did not cancel the event. This video will show what we did during that day! To see more, we will post pictures.
ESAC would like to appreciate our guest speaker, Professor Ephraim Isaac for attending our event among many other attendees.
Ethiopian Social Assistance Committee (ESAC)
In celebration of Ethiopian New Year, ESAC brings the first Cultural Exchange Family Day for adopted Ethiopian children and their families.
New York, New York –
ETHIOPIAN SOCIAL ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE hosts a family day for those adoptive families who would like to learn more and about Ethiopian history and culture. ESAC will hold an event on Sunday, October 28, 2012, at 310 E. 42nd Street in New York City.
ESAC provides a bridge for adoptive families to connect with Ethiopian community. Its goal is to make an impact in the local Ethiopian community and make a real difference in the lives of children and their families. ESAC gives Amharic classes in the New York area for all interested individuals, from adopted Ethiopian children to their parents, to researchers and students. All who are interested in learning Ethiopian language and history are welcome.
This interest is increasing and we are asking that you join us to share in the celebration of Ethiopian New Year. ESAC works to create awareness and to help families to connect with Ethiopian roots.
“Let me say ‘culture is a bridge towards understanding’. Knowing each other provides us with greater opportunities for peace. Not only that, we all have a place in this world,” said Zewditu Fesseha, the Founder of ESAC. “We are seeing citizens of the diaspora and Americans using the power of their voice to shed light on their own and each other’s well-being. This family and cultural exchange day will bring us together.”
ESAC will present Ethiopian music, food,dress and history.
Ethiopian Social Assistance Committee here (hereinafter ESAC) is organized under the non-profit public benefit corporation law for welfare and educational purposes. The community in need of social assistance and other concerns, the ESAC is formed as a non-profit organization. Our mission is to (in the next 5 years) bring rights to domestic workers in the Middle East. Within that goal, the source of the problem to solve is to plan to educate the youth to better understand this circumstance. Please help us and donate to eradicate inhumane conditions of women.
Click below to make donations:
Members of ESAC are shocked and devastated by this sad news!!! As our chairwoman Ms. Zewditu has urged, all concerned individuals (Ethiopians and non Ethiopians) who live around NYC and beyond please join us to fight this fight against the abuse of domestic workers in the Middle East. It is inhuman to savagely abuse domestic workers and it must be stopped. May Alem Dechassa rest in peace!!!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
New York (TADIAS) – The Ethiopian domestic worker that was violently mistreated outside the Ethiopian embassy in Beirut, as shown in a viral video last weekend, has committed suicide, Ethiopia’s Consul General confirmed to local media in Lebanon.
Alem Dechasa, 33, hanged herself using her bed sheets Wednesday morning, the Daily Star newspaper reported.
“My body is shaking and my heart is broken” said Ms. Zewditu Fessehaa, Chairwoman of the Ethiopian Social Assistance Committee in New York City, whose organization has been mobilizing efforts to assist the victim. “It’s depressing, it’s very sad and it’s unfair. She added: “As a mother I want to appeal to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to do something. Our daughters are being treated like dogs and there is nothing we can do about it.”
Ethiopian General Consul Asaminew Debelie Bonssa spoke to the Daily Star following a visit to the hospital where she killed herself. According to the newspaper, the Ethiopian consulate official said he saw Alem Dechasa Saturday and she appeared fine. The diplomat also said doctors told him they checked on her at 5 a.m. this morning and when they returned at 6 a.m. she was dead. Bonssa said he was ‘deeply shocked’ by the news.”
In New York, the ESAC chairwoman called for a collective response. “I want to appeal to everyone. We need to pull together to stop this madness,” Ms. Fessehaa said. “The cruelty directed against domestic workers is a human rights issue.” She added: “It needs an in-depth understanding, and an innovative solution within and beyond the Ethiopian community. We need people from every profession to assist us to make sure that our sister did not die in vain.”
Meanwhile, a vigil to mourn Alem Dechasa’s death is scheduled in front of the Lebanon embassy on Thursday, at 11 AM in Washington D.C.