HER CHOICE L&L East Africa – part 4: there is a (small piece of) airport at Hawassa airport!

(Continued from part 3)

The next day starts with discussing and exchanging impressions and learnings from the visits to the local HER CHOICE communities. What an amazing work these communities have done, and what powerful girls are there!

The rest of the day is spent on training each other on the topics each organization is specialized in – for instance:


  • DEC holds a session on how to train girls and boys on sexual and reproductive health;
  • ICDI gives 2 mini-trainings on child development and the multi-generational approach to eradicate child marriage;
  • the UVA runs a workshop on how to best use some self-assessment tools for local health service providers and schools, with the objective of estimating the level of youth friendliness of their locations and services;

Everybody learns a lot, very interesting discussions arise, new ideas are collected.

While enhancing knowledge and skills, and having great time in each others ‘company, the HER CHOICE coordinators realize that the Linking&Learning week is coming to an end.



They enjoy a lovely Ethiopian dinner together, and the morning after everyone prepares to leave.




Some of the HER CHOICE coordinators who have a late flight get the chance to visit the office of ESD in Hawassa. They witness the amazing work ESD does – in collaboration with other partners – on vocational training for disadvantaged women, boys and girls. They hear that unemployed youth from the Hawassa region migrates a lot to South Africa, Djibouti, Kenya and Tanzania, so these vocational courses are vital to helping disadvantaged locals to develop useful skills in order to get more employment opportunities locally.

ESD has 30 students in Hawassa at the moment, enrolled into different courses which have, over the last years, gained an excellent reputation for the quality and customization of the programmes:



  • hotel and hospitality management – thanks to which many students then find job opportunities in the Hawassa hospitality industry.




  • garment making and reparation  – as a result of this course many students get employed by the local textile industry or form cooperatives and start working for themselves.



Last year over 230 unemployed people were trained by ESD in Hawassa, and many of them found work shortly after completing the courses.

Happy to have seen this other piece of great work done by one of the HER CHOICE partners in Ethiopia, the remaining HER CHOICE coordinators head to the airport.


To their great surprise they find out that, while there isn’t (yet) any arrival hall at the Hawassa airport, a departure hall is actually available and working! It is made of shipping containers, but with efficient service and kind personnel.




Daydreaming of the futuristic project to build the new Hawassa airport hanging on the wall, and amazed by the Linking&Learning week just ended, even the last HER CHOICE coordinators leave Hawassa.