PROJECT-E benefits a lot from all the volunteers from Europe and Ethiopia, that put a lot of effort in supporting the project. Eskedar is one of the local volunteers who wrote a personal report about her work and experiences at PROJECT-E.
My name is Eskedar Tadesse and I am 28 years old. I am originally from Harar, the eastern part of Ethiopia, but currently studying my Master degree in African studies with a focus on human and economic development at Addis Ababa University. While writing my thesis, I was also looking for an NGO I could volunteer with and came across PROJECT-E’s website.
I was quite impressed by the work PROJECT-E was undertaking in empowering young women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and so I promptly decided to volunteer there. After applying I was happily surprised that my application was accepted and our country representative, Mrs. Livia, gave me a tour of the facilities at the Hospitality Institute. I was introduced to the staff members, volunteers from around the world and the twenty students which are in their first year of college. I was impressed by the well equipped kitchen, restaurant, bar, laundry room, library and guest rooms prepared for hands-on training of the students. The classrooms are bright and inviting and there is a well-kept, beautiful garden outside. The students are housed in a very clean and peaceful dormitory inside a spacious, green compound adjacent to the institute. I started working as a supervisor to the students and assistant to the academic coordinator and I was also assigned to tutor English to some of the students.
PROJECT-E is the right place to meet people from different cultures and countries with diverse knowledge and experience. As a volunteer, I had lots of opportunities to work independently and build my own self-confidence. I enjoyed our lunch time as all of us come together as one family and enjoy the delicious meals. It is also a good opportunity for the students to get hands on practice in hospitality.
With its emphasis on imparting practical skills accompanied by detailed classroom lectures, the standard of education offered at PROJECT-E is unrivalled in the Ethiopian hospitality sector. Students are provided with free scholarships which include accommodation, food, pocket money, uniforms, apprenticeship at the best hotels in Addis and Taekwondo lessons for self-defense and confidence-building of the young women. Students who performed best are invited to monthly motivational presentations and speeches by successful women entrepreneurs where they learn important life experiences and get the opportunities to network. I enjoyed my stay with PROJECT-E so much that I decided to extend my initial volunteer period to three more months. I am proud to contribute to its mission of empowering young Ethiopian women.