Ethiopiaid Monitoring Trip Diary 2017 - Hope Enterprises

Posted by on Thursday 23rd March 2017

My Ethiopiaid Ireland colleague Eufemia and I visited Hope Enterprises projects in Addis together today - Hope Enterprises has been providing free schooling from kindergarten to high school (grade 10) for over 30 years. Hope runs 7 schools in different parts of the country for families living below the poverty line and for single moms, as well as 2 community kitchens, including the street children breakfast in Addis. The Hope school we visited is located in Ayertena, a suburb of Addis. It caters for hundreds of children, who are also provided free uniforms, books and stationary. It also houses the vocational training centre for youth that Ethiopiaid Canada has supported for several years.

Bruk, the director, took us around a few primary classes to introduce us to the children - they were so kind and welcoming, proud to teach us a few Amharic words, and practice some English with us. Unfortunately, two pupils in primary at the Hope school died in the tragic collapse of the landfill in nearby Koshe just a little over a week ago. Photos to commemorate the two young children could be seen on boards around the school.

I was so happy to visit the tailoring training, a new pilot project for 20 marginalized women that Ethiopiaid Canada began to fund in late 2016. I met Mohamed and Julya, the two trainers who explained what the 4 month curriculum offers, and I was able to interview Birtukar and Baridou, who told me how this opportunity will change their lives, by helping them gain skills which are in great demand in Addis, and become financially independent. 

For those who have completed the ​training and obtained their certificates, Hope has already obtained places in government-run cooperatives, and is helping others find work in the private sector. It is also encouraging the women to set up a self-help group, as many have bonded during the training. Birtukar had tears in her eyes when telling me her story, and I was so glad to see for myself first-hand how successful this initiative has been. The project will continue and Ethiopiaid Canada will support a second batch of trainees this year, as well as continuing to support the catering and hospitality training for women.

In the catering training program, students had prepared our lunch, with an assortment of no less that 9 different traditional Ethiopian dishes such as shiro, red and green lentils, stuffed peppers and injera. Solomon, the head trainer, has also included pastry making in training sessions, adding yet another dynamic skill to the program. The food was delicious. With the growth in the hospitality market in Addis and other big cities, catering is in high demand; I know once these young women graduate, they will be highly employable.

By Olivier Bonnet, Ethiopiaid Canada  Addis Ababa

This is the fourth of several posts Ethiopiaid will be sharing after each partner visit while in Ethiopia. Every year, as part of our monitoring and evaluation process, the directors of Ethiopiaid Australia, Ethiopiaid Canada, Ethiopiaid Ireland and Ethiopiaid UK travel to Ethiopia to meet with our partners to make sure we are creating lasting and effective change and that your donations are well spent. Watch this space for more updates!

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