Startsida           Konakta oss           Om oss
1910-1946, Finland och Sverige

1946-1984, Etiopien



Merit list

Onni Niskanen - Born 31st August 1910 - Swedish Nationality - Work performances in Ethiopia
Greg. Cal.

1946-1948Sports Officer at the Cadet School of the Imperial Body Guard and twice a week sport instructor at The Airforce in Debre Zeit.
1948-1950Physical Education Instructor at the H.S.I. Secondary School, Addis Ababa.
1950-1954Director of Physical Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Fine Arts.
1948-1954Secretary General of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (part time)
1956-1959Director of Physical Education Department of the Ministry of Education and fine Arts.
1956-1961Secretary General of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (part time)
1959-1961Advisor to the Ministry of Education and Fine Arts for the Physical Education Programme for the Schools in Ethiopia.
1961-1967Secretary General of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (on full time basis)
1967-1979Executive Director, All Africa Leprosy & Rehabilitation Training Centre (ALERT)
1972-1981Resident Representative of the Swedish Save the Children Federation (Rädda Barnen)
1981-Onw.Senior Advisor, Swedish Save the Children Federation (Rädda Barnen)
Other merits:
1947-1954Chairman and Instructor of the Swedish Folk Dance Team which started the first Jahmeda Festival, which festival later on developed into a tremendous international affair to the benefit of the Ethiopian Red Cross.
1948-1961Member of the National Council of the Boy Scout Association of Ethiopia. Acting Deputy Commissioner 1948-1954. One of the Founders of the Association.
1948-1952Representing Ethiopia as Observer at the Olympic Games in London 1948 and in Helsinki 1952. Introducing Ethiopia as Membership Candidate to the Olympic Committee.
1948-1954Member of the Ethiopian Football Federation.
1949-1954One of the Founders of the Ethiopian Inter-School Athletic Association and Chairman of the Association for many years
1950One of the Founders of the Ethiopian Red Cross School of Nursing, the first of its kind in Ethiopia.
1953-1954Chairman of the Swedish Society in Ethiopia and board member for many years.
1954Chairman of the Committee which worked out the plan for the establishment of the Ethio-Swedish Building Collage, now the College of Technology, Addis Ababa University. The establishment of this College was realized by the first Grant from the Swedish Government at that time Central Committee for Technical Assistance, now SIDA.
1954-1956Studying at the Royal Swedish Physical Education Institute. Two Ethiopian students attended the studies at the Institute and a few more Ethiopian students have later on been Studying at this Institute.
1956-1960Trainer for the Ethiopian athletes preparing for participation in the Olympic Games in Melbourne 1956 and the Olympic Games in Rome 1960 and Coach for the team Ethiopian National Athletic Team in the Rome Olympics 1960, where Abebe Bikila won his first victory in Marathon.
1960-1969Official and Coach of Ethiopian athletes participating in many international competitions in various parts of the world.
1959-1961Representing the League of Red Cross Society, Geneva, at the Economic Commission for Africa Conferences 1959 and 1961, held in Ethiopia.
1961One of the founders of the National Ethiopian Athletic Federation and its Vice Chairman for several years.
1961Member of "Svenska Färvaltningskommittén I Ethiopia", a committee sponsoring the utilization of grants from various donors in Sweden.
1963Mission to Nepal as Delegate on behalf of the League of Red Cross Societies, Geneva, and Ethiopian Red Cross Society. Purpose of the mission: To assist the Nepalese Red Cross in its development and also on behalf of UNHCR, to investigate the situation among the Tibetan refugees sheltered in Nepal.
1963Mission to Kenya as delegate of the Leage of Red Cross Societies, Geneva, and Ethiopian Red Cross Society. Purpose Of the mission: To assist in the re-organization of the Kenyan Red Cross to become a National Red Cross Society, previously being a Branch of the British Red Cross.
1964Technical Advisor to the Ethiopian National Team Participating in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 1964 in which Abebe Bikila won his second Olympic Victory in marathon.
1968Technical Advisor to the Ethiopian National Team participating in the Olympic Games in Mexico 1968. Mamo Wolde won the Olympic marathon race and some other fine Results were achieved by the Ethiopian athletes.
1972-1974Chief Delegate of the Swedish Red Cross and in charge of the Ethio-Swedish Red Cross Societies joint Health Projects in the Gambella Awraja.
1972Vice President of the Ethiopian Council of Social Welfare.
1973Member of the Ethiopian Leprosy Relief Association (Board Member). Board Member of Ethiopian Rehabilitation Development & Training Association (ERDATA). One of its Founders.
1973-onw.In charge of funds from several private Swedish donors. These funds are utilized to assist village projects such as latrine construction, school supplies, bridge-building, sports equipment to village schools, benches and chairs etc.
1965-1974One of the founders and organizer of the Ethiopian High- Land Rally, which was organized during ten years and it also became an international competition.
1976Official and Coach for the Ethiopian Marathon runners who were to participate in the Montreal Olympic Games 1976. The African teams withdraw from the Olympic Games at Montreal for political reasons.

Also involved in several other social and welfare activities during my 36 years of service to Ethiopia.

Decorations received

Star of Honour of Ethiopia (Miazia 27, 1958 Eth.Cal)
Knight of the Royal Vasa order (first class)
Ethiopian Red Cross gold medal (8-5-1982)
Rädda Barnen's gold medal (in Addis Ababa...)
Swedish Red Cross gold medal
Lions International gold medal District S-101, Sweden
Redd Barna, Norway, Golden badge

All those medals were awarded to me as appreciation for my Work in Ethiopia.

Onni Niskanen

Den 27 November 1987 fick Onni Herman Niskanen postumt Henry Dunants medalj och diplom för sina enastående insatser i Etiopien under nästan fyrtio år. Tre år och åtta månader efter sin död.


Tribute to ONNI NISKANEN (Posthumously)

During his 36 years of noble humanitarian services as member and board member of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, and in particular as its Secretary General, Onni Niskanen served with great devotion in various operations in Ethiopia for the relief of victims of natural disasters. He also provided invaluable humanitarian services at the risk of his life in several man-made disasters in Ethiopia.

At the international level he accomplished missions on behalf of the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the field of development.

His enormous contribution to, and personal share in, the development of humanitarian activities, and his devotion to the care of wounded, sick and war-stricken people made him an outstanding example of humanity.

For all these reasons the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has unanimously decided to award Onni Niskanen, posthumously, the Henry Dunant Medal.



Ansvarig utgivare: Ulf Niskanen
Webbansvarig: Tom Niskanen