We have questioned our youngest volunteer Amerti in the latest “3 Questions to …” interview: How did she come across PROJECT-E and why does she sacrifice her summer holidays for this internship?
The concept of voluntary work is essential for PROJECT-E. Our work in Europe is unexceptionally organized by young volunteers in the different departments and we aim at implementing this model in Addis and foster the concept of voluntary work in Ethiopia as well.
Besides the local staff and the country representative from abroad, there are constantly volunteers who support the daily work of the project. The volunteers are students or recent graduates and bring, through their diverse background, wide-ranging input to the development of the project. They are either recruited directly through PROJECT-E channels (European and local volunteer) or by AIESEC (find an extensive article about our cooperation with AIESEC here). Especially during the summer break, when most of the students or recent graduates are looking for first work experiences, the Hospitality Institute in Ayat is filled with enthusiastic volunteers from all over the world.
In this edition of “3 Questions to…” we would like to introduce Amerti Lemma, one of the local volunteers. Amerti is only 16 years old, which makes her the youngest volunteer that has ever worked for PROJECT-E! She lives in the neighborhood of Ayat and will start the second last year of high school after this summer’s internship at PROJECT-E.
1. Amertie, how did you find out about PROJECT-E?
” I was preparing an ICT project (information, communication and technology project) with a friend to teach younger students how to use computers. For this two-week project, we were looking for support from an established organization to get some recognition. That is why we searched the internet and found PROJECT-E. Even though the cooperation didn’t come into existence, I was keen to get to know more about the organization. Livia, the country representative, explained to me that they are always looking for volunteers to support the staff and so I decided to join for my two months summer holidays. ”
2. What do you like most about PROJECT E’s Hospitality Institute?
” I really like that it helps people and that it is focused on girls’ empowerment. Since the students come from underprivileged backgrounds with hardly a chance for higher education, it is great that PROJECT-E provides them with this chance for a better future and independence. Furthermore, I enjoy the gathering at lunchtime, when everyone of the project gets together to eat Injera and has time to talk to each other. ”
3. What does “volunteering” mean for you?
” For me “volunteering” means to help in the best possible way; to make a difference and to not expect anything in return. As a high school student, I have two spare months in my summer holidays, during which I either go to summer school or volunteer. Last year I volunteered for YWAC (Young Womens Christian Association). I really want to volunteer again in my future and I could imagine myself to work for such a project in the future. ”
Amerti started her work with PROJECT E in July 2016 and will stay with us until September. She is supporting the staff in their daily activities, preparing material for the simulated reception and also works on a language corner, which shall give the students more input about the Anglophone world. After her high school graduation in two years, she plans to apply for a university in the United States for a degree in International Relations. We are proud to have her in the team and wish her all the best for her future professional and personal life.