Mr. Hadera brings a deep commitment to community organizing and public advocacy on the social and public health issues facing immigrants and refugees. He experienced first-hand the realities of refugee life, leaving his home country of Ethiopia in 1977 for refugee camps in the Sudan, before emigrating to the U.S. in 1979.
Asfaha founded the organization known as the Committee to Aid Ethiopian Refugees in May of 1981, which evolved to become African Services Committee in 1993. As Co-Executive Director, Mr. Hadera has been recognized by many political, social and public health institutions as a major influence behind the oldest and largest African health services organization in the United States. The organization serves over 10,000 African and Diaspora clients each year through its Harlem-based health and social services programs. Under his leadership, African Services Committee has developed operations in Africa and established a groundbreaking HIV testing and care programs in thiopia, providing free VCT services to over 30,000 people per year.
Asfaha’s vision has motivated African Services Committee to collaborate with a variety of other African community-based organizations in the U.S. and Africa to further democratization and human rights. He is a 2004 winner of the Emigrant Foundation Award and recipient of the 2005 Ronald Reagan Gold Medal. Asfaha is an Executive Committee Member of the NAACP. He has been recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus for his successful advocacy for increased African refugee resettlement quotas in the U.S. He also received a proclamation from the New York City Council for outstanding service to the community. He was trained in social work at Adelphi University and has a diploma in child developmental psychology. Asfaha speaks Amharic and Tiggriggna, in addition to English.