Over 10 years of mentoring and nurturing young women who are passionate about women and gender, EASSI through its volunteer and young women’s leadership programme has contributed to over 80 young women who have stepped out to mentor others and occupy positions of leadership.
The programme targets young women between the ages of 25-35 years. The training has transformed the lives of young women and has equipped them with knowledge, skills and expertise to become transformative leaders within their communities and the region at large.
The objectives of the leadership program include: Equipping young women with knowledge and skills in leadership, gender analysis as well as in the formulation and implementation of gender responsive projects and programmes; initiating a forum for young women to meet and build alliances for individual and professional support, sensitizing and empowering young women on gender issues so as to improve the quality of gender analysis and research in the Sub-Region; strengthening existing national and regional networks through net-working and solidarity and to build and sustain links and empower the young women living in fundamentally patriarchal communities with self-development and life skills.
Selamawit Adugna Bekele, is currently the Ethiopian Youth Ambassador for A World at School for the UN Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa.
Selamawit is one of the products from EASSI’s Internship programme having undergone the 9 months training before she went back to Ethiopia. During the meeting, Selamawit and other volunteers underwent intensive training on knowledge and skills in leadership, gender analysis as well as formulation and implementation of gender responsive projects and programmes. She was also sensitized and empowered on gender issues as well as equipped with self-development and life skills.
Selamawit says that she joined the World At School’s movement to get every child into school and learning because advocating for education is the most effective contribution she can make to address the big picture of development in her country and around the world.
‘For the most of the vulnerable children throughout the world there is a significant solution: EDUCATION. It doesn’t matter where they are from, what their gender is, whether they live with a disability or have fled from conflict - we can make them a citizen of hope with the potential to embark on changing the futures of their countries” Says Selamawit
She adds that “And the only reason I am an empowered 25-year-young woman from Ethiopia who has the power and the choice to make her own decisions in life is because of education. Every single child in this world also deserves that chance. What are you going to do to help them achieve it?”
For Selamawit’s full story visit: www.moremiinitiative.org
Being part of a vibrant team at EASSI, I have been able to realize my full potential in several ways; serving as a volunteer under Women in Peace Processes programme has been quite challenging yet exciting as every task at hand brought forth an opportunity for growth. I took on each task with positivity and believing deep inside that I could execute it despite the fact that I started off quiet apprehensive. I have realized that it takes experience to uncover career choices one never thought existed because as an International relations scholar, I never really thought that I would take on a career path in Peace and Security issues and much more enjoy it. This is because I always knew it was a field more apt for men and not women.
I am now more passionate about this field especially on gender and the role of women in Peace and Conflict issues. I aspire to get involved in meaningful community level development and seize every opportunity to gain fresh perspectives on various issues and concepts. I am grateful to have worked with such a brilliant team at EASSI. Today I feel more challenged to go out and do more!
I first learnt about the programme on Facebook, and then a friend told me about it. The link on Facebook directed me to the EASSIwebsite where I read more about the organization and its values. EASSI visions a society where all enjoy gender equality, social justice, peace and development; which is in line with my personal vision. This inspired me to use the opportunity that had been availed to work with EASSI as an intern between February -March 2013.
Being an individual that is passionate about women and children, working on the Women and Girls’ Empowerment Project gave me the confidence I needed to be the voice for the under privileged women and girls. “In addition, I incorporated the training skills I had acquired in soap making into the Start and improve your Business package and so far, three women have set up flourishing businesses in soap making. This gives a feeling of satisfaction, which I credit to EASSI.”
Currently am working as a Program and Communications Officer at Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) civil society strengthening project. Many of the skills I attribute to EASSI because it has made me who I am now, I have enhanced communication skills with stakeholders of the organization, working efficiently and effectively in a multicultural environment as well as lobbying and advocacy .I would recommend that EASSI keeps up the program since it also avails a rare opportunity for fresh graduates to acquire coveted skills. I think the interns should be included in field activities as often as possible and as soon as after orientation .This is because field activities give one a real feel of the nature of their work and in a shorter time period than other aspects of the program would.
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