Gene Major, PhD

“It was certainly more than 20 years ago that I had thoroughly enjoyed my first experience with Kitfo and Injera and many other foods of Ethiopian cuisine in one of Washington D.C.’s splendid restaurants. And of course there is always the ceremonial Ethiopian coffee. But perhaps it wasn’t until I began working with the founder of People 2 People, my good friend Enawgaw Mehari, that I truly began to appreciate the rich historical culture and great generosity of spirit of Ethiopian people.
I enlisted Enawgaw in a project to develop programs at NINDS of international interest in HIV/AIDS beyond the borders of the US, a project I called the International Consortium for AIDS have many names and diverse and noble goals, they do not seem to match the personal Neuroscience or ICAN. While these types of programs have blossomed into many countries and passionate efforts of a movement such as People to People. This was made even more evident to me in my visit to Addis Ababa some years ago in meetings with physicians and care takers at the Black Lion Hospital and other friends in the city. In the time since that visit, I have met with members of People to People and have offered ideas and suggestions on how to further the health of Ethiopians in their country, train their doctors and scientists, and build stronger contacts with those of us here in the US. I have seen the growth of People to People in not only numbers but in scope, participation of new members and attraction of support from other organizations with global interests. It has been remarkable to witness the building of this organization but not surprising.
The dedication of its founder and its members is matched only by the energy and persistence of its activities and the pride in pursuing its cause. The success of its signature methods of reaching out to Ethiopian people by Ethiopian people and those remaining of us who have become part of this has at times been inspiring. It is difficult to imagine it has been only 10 years. I can only wonder what People to People will accomplish over the next 10 years. I can make this promise that I will be a witness to those future years and, in whatever way I can, continue to add effort and pride with People to People.”

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National Institute of Health
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