On Saturday 28th April, PROJECT-E celebrated an important day. The second batch of Hospitality students at PROJECT-E finished their level 1 & 2 programme and graduated that day. Within the two years that have passed by, it was great to see these young ladies grow and develop into more confident and independent women. As their careers finally begin, they will finally be able to see all their knowledge and hard work be put to use.
Over the last two weeks, the whole PROJECT-E staff was involved in preparing the big day. Invitations were handed ou
t to family members and hotels, students were asked to compile information and pictures
for their yearbook, and of course cakes, drinks and flowers were ordered. The day before the graduation, the 1st year students and staff members cleaned and decorated the entire institute building. Finally, the day of the graduation arrived. Staff members and 1st-year students warmly welcomed the graduates and their family members. Happiness and sadness filled the morning as the students realised all their hard work had paid off but this was going to be the last time they were going to be at the Institute with all their classmates.
During the graduation ceremony, we had a couple of speeches from staff members, who reminisced about the good times they had with the students, and the traditional handing out of the certificates to the students took place. In addition, we honoured the students who graduated with the outstanding scores from 1st to 3rd place.
Lidya who received first place gave a short, but touching speech. She firstly thanked every staff member of PROJECT-E for enabling her and the other graduates a great education. Then she continued to thank and honour her peers. “Even though we all come from different backgrounds, yet we are somehow the same. Studying and living together has made us grow into a big family. So now, that we are all about to go separate ways, part of me feels sad. On the other hand, we all are excited to finally join the world of work, because we have pursued a career that has many opportunities – especially in Addis.” She closes her speech with the funny saying ‘Demo Sirau Yabelal’ (which translates into “Also, this job feeds well, meaning we get a good salary from the jobs we will be working.”
After the ceremony, we all gathered together to have some coffee and cake with the graduates and their families and friends. It was a great way to celebrate the beginning of a new journey for the 19 young ladies. We wish them all the best and hope to stay in contact with them!
Written by Lydia Mengesha