Our series of “3 Questions To…” continues this month with an interview with our new Country Representative Sena, who talks about her first weeks at PROJECT-E and the role of women empowerment.
Sena started working as the new Country Representative in January 2017. She will be responsible for the connection between Team Addis and Team Europe as well as for various administrative tasks. Sena is from Melbourne, Australia and studied Social Sciences at the University of Latrobe there. After her graduation in 2015, she moved to Ethiopia, where her family is originally from.
1. How have you settled in the PROJECT-E family?
“First of all, I have felt very welcomed and I feel like I have gained acceptance amongst the staff and the students. The environment of the project is different from what I was previously used to. Nonetheless, I really like how I fit in. At the start it was overwhelming in managing to understand the ins and outs of PROJECT-E despite its size. PROJECT-E has a large group of networks and there are always activities going on, especially being a school environment. With the assistance of Livia, I have become accustomed to the structure and how the PROJECT-E Hospitality Institute (PEHI) operates. I will also like to use this platform to thank Livia for her patience and assistance in helping me transit. As part of the transition period I had the opportunity to meet partners and supporters of PROJECT-E and I feel comfortable and very much a part of the organisation.”
2. What do you think, what role does women empowerment play within the Ethiopian society nowadays?
“The role of empowering women within the Ethiopian society is a vital aspect of the countries growth. Currently, empowering women has the ability to shape the way of living in the Ethiopian household. Empowerment of women is not only economically but also mentally and when this is done, there is a positive spiral effect created within the family, as Ethiopian women are the bearers of their families. They have the ability to shape their children’s future and transform their lives. Women play a key role within the community, especially their neighbours thus have the capacity to influence and shape the attitude of their community. This is just the foundation of what empowering women currently is in Ethiopia. Once a positive elevation is developed in the foundation of women empowerment, women will have the ability to go and spread their wings in many areas of the Ethiopian society. Part of the role of women empowerment is to provide women with the education and tools to be confident, creative, innovative and active citizens of their community and thus also being economically empowered.”
3. What impression do you have of the students until now?
“The students, especially the second-year students, are very confident and they seem to know what they want. They have created an image of a positive future and of what they want their lives to look like and I believe that this has come through their time spent at PROJECT-E. The first-year students are very vibrant, keen and they display care for one another and the staff. I have only known them for couple of months now, but from the information I have gathered from the staff, the appearance of the students have also changed in the way they look after themselves. I believe they have taken the first major step in transforming their lives.”