The Y Partners with Horn of Africa

Last updated: March 22, 2023, at 5:06 a.m. PT

Originally published: March 9, 2018, at 12:09 p.m. PT

Partnering with the Horn of Africa to provide culturally responsive programs for health.

The growing gap between health and wealth inequity in the United States calls for renewed focus and new strategies to improve health outcomes for the poorest among us. At the same time, the ongoing economic and financial downturn has placed a significant burden on state and local public health departments and community agencies that aim to reduce health disparities among underserved populations.

Through our collaborative work with Horn of Africa and Ethiopian Community Center, The Meredith Mathews YMCA provides physical activity training and nutrition workshop for women who are childcare providers at Horn of Africa Services New Holly office and at the Ethiopian Community Center on a quarterly base. The nutrition workshop was specifically developed and tested to provide information to help people of varying literacy levels make appropriate health and food selection decisions. The workshop series includes handouts suitable for video vignettes, live demonstrations, and a list of helpful resources.

ECS (Ethiopian Community Center) is currently building a program using an indigenous banking technique used commonly in Ethiopia and many parts of the world. The 11-week program feature several topics including resources for affordable housing, employment, food, self-care etc. The Meredith Mathews workshop focuses on health, nutrition, emotional wellness, and self-care. The program raises awareness and promotes healthy nutrition to underserved women in south King County, connecting to the community through one-on-one and group education as well as events (Health Fair).

Physical education classes offered for women in low-income community include Zumba & AOA class for women. We have created services that address the struggles of that population and understand that the ultimate goal is to encourage and support individuals in making lifestyle change that can be, one day, inherited by future generation