In this interview we have asked our project manager Aida three questions regarding her work motivation, thoughts on the new school year and wishes for the future.
Since March 2016 Aida is the project manager of the Hospitality Institute. In this position she is responsible for the administration as well as the academic and social activities at the college. She also constantly works on the improvement of the program, by revising the curriculum, finding new input to increase the outcome and motivating all our staff members to give their best. She is the first contact person for new hotels as well as for the federal TVET agency, which is responsible for the accreditation of our Institute.
When Aida started to work for PROJECT-E in March, Ethiopia was unchartered territory for her because she used to live in Germany for the past 25 years. So, similar to other foreigners, she had to get used to the people and the culture once again.
As she said, PROJECT-E is the basis for this new chapter in her life.
1. What motivates you most about working for PROJECT-E?
” Since I have worked here I realised that PROJECT-E does not only change the life of the students but also my own life. It motivates me every day to go to work, because I can see how the students improve themselves and unfold their potential. For me it is not only work; it is also an opportunity for myself to live that new life. ”
2. What are your feelings towards the new class and the beginning of the school year?
” The new class of students just started a few weeks ago and so I have only one word in my mind which describes my feelings about this: HOPE. I have hope for every student that each and every one can change her situation with the help of PROJECT-E to a better one. I know about the life situation of the students before they came to PROJECT-E because I took part in the selection of the new students which also included home visits. I know that PROJECT-E is the most important chance for many of them to give their life a new direction. That is the reason why hope describes my feelings these days and why no other word is needed. ”
3. What do you wish PROJECT-E for the future?
” I wish that the project will increase and expand, so that PROJECT-E has the possibility to give more women with financial and social problems the opportunity of education at the Hospitality Institute. And therefore I also wish that there will always be volunteers which support the organization, because they play a huge role in the further development and success of the project. ”
On the first day of school, which we celebrated with the new students and their parents, one of the fathers thanked Aida for coming back to Ethiopia after living for such a long time in Germany and thereby giving his daughter a new life perspective. With her choice for Ethiopia, Aida clearly represents a huge role model for all our students.
Written by Carlotta von Westerholt.