1)      SIDAMA SUSTENANCE ~ Foodways of the Sidama Tribe

By Donna Sillan, MPH    Order through at:

2)    Common River:  An Alternative Approach to Creating Change in International Development

By Ashley Lackovich- Van Gorp, Antioch University, PhD in Leadership and Change candidate. Read Ashley’s Thesis

3)    A Resource guide for Sustainably Rehabilitating Malnourished Children, by Donna Sillan

4)    The Infinite Emotions of Coffee, by Alon Halevy.

We had a visitor from Google Headquarters, Alon Halevy, come stay at Common River in 2011. He was writing a book on coffee, The Infinite Emotions of Coffee, and had it published. There is a beautiful chapter on Ethiopia, which greatly highlights our program: macchiatone.

4)  Suggested Reading: Common River Reading List 2012

Ethiopian History

Ethiopian Fiction

  • Cutting for Stone,  Abraham Verghese  The BEST Book on Ethiopia!
  • Notes from the Hyena’s Belly, Nega Mezlekia **** excellent READ!
  • Sweetness in the Belly, Camille Gibb
  • The Beautiful things That Heaven Bears, Dinaw Mengestu

Ethiopian Non-Fiction

  • Journey Through Ethiopia, Mohamed Amin, Duncan Willets, and Alaistair Matheson
  • Held at a Distance: My Rediscovery of Ethiopia, Rebecca Haile *
  • Surrender or Starve, Robert Kaplan
  • Seeds for Demoncratization in Ethiopia:  Why Unity of Purpose Matters, Semegn Tamirate
  • The Hospital by the River, Dr. Hamlin


  • Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Relin



  • Mountains beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidde



  •  There is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue Africa’s Children, Melissa Fay Greene

Travel Guides

  • Lonely Planet Guide:  Ethiopia and Eritrea *** preferred
  • Brandt:  Ethiopia

Lonely Planet:  Amharic Phrasebook

Language book:

Ethiopian Amharic Phrasebook, Lonely Planet


  • Black Golddocumentary on Sidamo coffee growers
  • Black Coffee
  • A Walk to Beautiful (fistula patients)
  • Heart of Fire (Eritrean child soldiers)


Research Papers

Requests for papers can be directed to Donna Sillan (

1) Ashley N. Lackovich-Van Gorp,Phd.  Antioch University – PhD Program in Leadership and Change, 2014

Positive Deviance and Child Marriage by Abduction in the Sidama Zone of Ethiopia

2) Thea Astrid Hambleton, Lund University, Sweden: Spring 2016

Bachelor of Science Programme in Development Studies

What is a good man?
A qualitative field study of how hegemonic masculinity is changing and being maintained in relation to livelihood diversification, education and gendered division of labor in Southern Ethiopia


Women and men’s preferences for delivery services in rural Ethiopia

4) Anne Berit Petersen, Phd. University of San Francisco and Loma Linda University, 2016

Factors associated with secondhand tobacco smoke in the home: an exploratory cross-sectional study among women in Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia

5) Jason Speaks, University of California, San Francisco 2016

Lead Adjunct Faculty, USF, Doctoral Student, UCSF, Family Health Care Nursing

The effects of kitchen smoke in Southern Ethiopia (not finished)

6) University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  1. a) Maternal Health Care in Pre- and Post- “Red Terror” Populations in Rural Ethiopia (2010)

Kathleen R. Gong, Joshua Essel, Myra Liu, Ann Lu, Wade Murray, Matthew Murrell, Edward Shipper, Nishina Thomas

  1. b) Ethiopia Outreach: Rural Medicine and Research Abroad (2012)

Kelsey Bryant, John Anhalt, Courtney Wiener, John Doehring, Bilal Dar, Allison Price

  1. c) Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Titara Region
Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia (2013)

Report By: Kelsey Bryant John Anhalt Bilal Dar Courtney Wiener John Doehring

d) Use of Traditional versus Allopathic Medicine in A Rural Ethiopian Town (2014)

Evelyn Ashiofu, Katherine Berry, Patrick Butler, Robert Collins, Mia Gonzales, Matt Jacobs, Cameron Nichols, Nicholas Tsourmas, Christina Zink MD, and Chris McNeil MD

Ethiopia Presentation 2014 AND Ethiopia Outreach Poster

More Resources from UTHSCSA Attachment: Ethiopia Presentation 2014


  1. Ruth Berggren and 4 students (2007)
  2. Dr. Berggren’s (2) and 8 students(June 2008) (Linda and Irina) 4th year
  3. Dr. Usatine (1) with 6 students (June 2009) 1st year
  4. Dr. Usatine and 8 students (June 2010) (Katie Wong): Maternal Health
  5. Dr. Usatine and 8 students (June 2011) (Eric Brown): lost data Water and Sanitation
  6. Dr. Karnes and Dr. Zink and 8 students (May 2012) (Kelsey Bryant): Water and Sanitation
  7. Dr. Zink and Dr. Alex and 8 students (May 2013) (Suzanne Davis): Rural Medicine
  8. Dr. Zink and Dr. Alex and 8 students (May 2014)
  9. Dr. Zink and Dr. Foster:  11 students: Trachoma prevention (May 2015)
  10. Dr. Berggren, Dr. Curiel and Dr. Nayar: 10 students:   TB Incidence  (May 2016)

7) University of Wisconsin (2013) 

  1. a) Handbook of Sidama Traditional Medicial Plants

  1. b) Alex Mcalvay University of Wisconsin–Madison (2013)

Healthcare access and traditional medicine among the Sidama of Ethiopia

8) Donna Sillan, MPH, Co-founder Common River

SIDAMA SUSTENANCE ~ Foodways of the Sidama Tribe (e-book)

9) NGO Management: University of SF: Thomas Natale and Virginia Turner

A Strategy for Organizational Capacity Building: School of Management, Master of Nonprofit Administration




Find out how your visit, medical volunteering, international internship, student volunteering, volunteer teaching and / or donations can help us reach our goal of sustainable development in Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia. For more information about Common River and how you can help, contact us today.