ACHI through a long experience of working with low income, refugee and immigrant communities has identified major problems facing these communities. For these communities, which are our primarily target population, the problems are complex, challenging and of different level depending on individual’s journey of life, cultural background, linguistic and educational level in addition to most that goes through some challenging life experiences. This is specially for the refugee and immigrant population from Africa. Most refugee and immigrants, carrying past traumatic experience also face huge challenge during their initial resettlement as form of cultural shock, cultural and linguistic barrier and limited resettlement assistance. As a result, many go into stress and depression in some cases suicidal or take most of their life time working in a low survival jobs. For some successful, unfortunately, the end up become dependent on warfare assistance. This is also true for previous generation immigrant and low income citizens. The combination of the above challenges and other domestic issues have a direct consequence of the health wellbeing of individuals in this population, which also the cause of huge health disparities seen within these communities. ACHI believes that it is possible to overcome most of problems with complete understanding the cultural and linguistic background and establishing trust as basis before providing cultural competent appropriate services. Thus, the work of ACHI is based on the principles that
- Understanding and eliminating cultural and linguistic barriers can empower individuals to easily adjust to their social environment while developing healthy lifestyle.
- Through evidence based practices, to develop confidence, trust and capacity that individual will be able to seek help for their self-development.
- We work with our partners through a comprehensive referral services to connect our clients to available services.
- We provide educational programs for health and skill development to engage clients maintain healthy lifestyle and also become self-sufficient
To mitigate some common client’s issues and promote socialization, we also provide various individual and group activities including peer to peer support system, civic engagements, senior programs and various socialization activities. In general, the role of ACHI is to increase awareness and understanding of community health using public health principles, develop early intervention and prevention coping mechanisms, provide support on changing or eliminating bad behavior and reduce stigmatization and fear of all forms that are the core causes hindering healing, prevention and progress.
ACHI prioritize a public and mental health needs filling the gap of available services on this issue that are culturally competent and take careful consideration to the sensitive social sigma issues.
ACHI though is a very small organization operates by mobilizing humanitarian dedicate volunteers. With the help of volunteers and dedicated staff, ACHI gradually expanding as needed its services to support the underserved immigrant communities and successfully developed programs and resources that have significant impact to the community.
Our Core Value
- Positive outlook and hope in live
- Excellence in Service
- Mutual Respect
- Cultural diversity
Mission and goals
ACHI unique approach is to provide culturally and linguistically sensitive social support system and services. The primary goals are:
- To promote physical, mental, and social well-being
- To develop early coping mechanisms for any cultural shock, mental and other stress related problems
- To provide support for quick re-settlement and integration to their new community.
- To provide prevention and intervention awareness outreach and education to reduce health disparities within the community
Founder and Executive Director
Manna Teclemariam, MPH in public health, Founder and Executive Director of ACHI and Public Health Educator, has been working in public health for twenty years. Stress Management Specialist, Leader of the Eritrean WomenÂ’s Association and Founder and Program Director for the African Community Health Institute. Former Counselor on behalf of immigrant community, organizer of educational and community services for Eritrean children in Santa Clara County, as well as formerly on behalf of orphaned children and youth in Eritrea.
Board of Directors
1. Ms. Manna Teclemariam, Founder and CEO of ACHI, Chairwoman
2. Dr. Frezghi Habte, Core Director, Department of Radiology, Stanford University
3. Mrs. Hatixha Grabishi, Lawyer specializing in immigration & disability services
4. Mr. Tekeste Teclu, Accountant/ Financial officer of ACHI
5. Mr. Mohammed Hassen, Social Worker / Community Activist