Canadian Philanthropist and Chief Executive Officer of Sky Link Aviation Inc. Walter Arbib has donated a half of a million dollars for medical supplies to the Ethiopian orphanages where Hadassah is helping to care for children with HIV/AIDS. The antiretroviral drugs are sponsored by the United States Presidential Program, but there is a great need for drugs to treat a variety of other diseases that afflict these children. The donation came about after Prof. Dan Engelhard, who is head of Hadassah’s Pediatric AIDS Center and this AIDS volunteer project, reached out to Haim Divon, Deputy Director General for the Department of International Cooperation in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He helped to secure the contribution.Prof. Engelhard and his volunteers, including doctors, nurses, medical and nursing students, and medical clowns, spend weeks or months in the orphanages, giving medical care including antiretroviral drugs, as well as love and joy to the children. The program began in February 2005, when Prof. Engelhard visited the Mother Teresa orphanage in Asco, Addis Ababa, where 400 children with AIDS live. Until then, almost every week a child passed away in the orphanage. Since the program was initiated, the children are much healthier and happier and during the last four months, only one infant has died.

An official ceremony marking the contribution was held at the Mother Teresa orphanage with special guests Mr. Arbib, as well as Lelei LeLaulu, President of Counterpart International, which partnered with Mr. Arbib in this venture; Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopian Minister of Health; Yaacov Amitai, Ambassador of Israel to Ethiopia; and Prof. Dan Engelhard. Counterpart International is among the leading United States international nongovernmental organizations which organizes and administers volunteers internationally. The partnership between Sky Link Aviation Canada and Counterpart International also resulted in 1.5 million dollars worth of medicines being distributed to the children of Iraq.