PROJECT-E is has brought together staff and students of both its education colleges to celebrate past achievements, share ideas for the future and enjoy each other’s company. This cozy get-together was a special day to all of us.
On Sunday 17th April, the PROJECT-E staff organized a get-together at its Hospitality Institute out in Ayat. The get-together included former staff and students from our AOSTD College and the current ones from the Hospitality Institute. This round was joined by a range of guests and friends of the organisation including the staff of Selam Children’s Village, the partner organisation for our Secretarial College. Some of our guest speakers came back to help us further by celebrating our triumphs.
It helped us to celebrate the thread of continuity with our previous projects and graduates and gave our guests the chance to mingle, hear about latest project developments and share new ideas. Finally, it provided all friends of the organisation with the opportunity to put human faces to our endeavours and have a look around our facilities.
The get-together programme kicked off with speeches from our Country Representative, Livia Röthlisberger, as well as our new Project Manager, Aida Bahta, who had the opportunity to formally introduce herself. Livia, in her typically enthusiastic style, welcomed and thanked our guests and sponsors. In a mock press conference interview with our students Livia discussed the importance of PROJECT-E’s aims leaving a powerful impression on the audience with her emotional delivery. Aida also discussed the impact PROJECT-E continues to have, noting the bleak realities that our students might have faced without this education opportunity.
Moreover, the programme included a number of performances from our students inside the Hospitality Institute. A group dance, rehearsed by the girls for the last weeks, included a modern take on a traditional Ethiopian song. Eyersalem also bravely sang for our audience. Finally, we brought two generations of PROJECT-E students and graduates together for an experience sharing exercise. A few brave graduates spoke candidly about the memories from their study experience and the lasting impact those memories have on their optimism about the future. Listening on our current students and the audience were given the opportunity to ask questions until it was the turn of our current students to share their experiences.
As part of the get-together we gave our hard working Head Housekeeper Alem a break from cooking to enjoy the day’s activities with her family and friends. Bethlem stepped into Alem’s shoes, along with two of her friends to prepare a range of delicious dishes that were served to the many guests. Bethi prepared a range of traditional Ethiopian sauces for the injera, accompanied by a bed of exquisitely presented mixed salad. Selamwit served coffee with all the traditional trimmings of the coffee ceremony – of course in a traditional dress.
Dressed in their hospitality uniforms, three of our students were on hand in the queue for the buffet to guide our guest through the dizzying array of delicious dishes. It was the perfect opportunity to also exhibit the training progress the girls have made since the Hospitality Institute’s was unveiled in October 2015.
Thanks a lot to all the people who constantly support our vision and made this a very important and special day in the history of PROJECT-E!