From the 23-24th of March 2021 the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Gondar will be organizing a partner meeting with relevant stakeholders and partners to assess the impact of current internship initiatives of the scholars.
Those who took part in the meeting included Cheshire services, Mehabre Hewot for Social Development (MHSD), Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD), Rehabilitation Center, Bahar Dar, graduated Scholars and MCF staff.
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Gondar, looking at its fifth year in operation, continues to break barriers in some of today’s most pressing issues. Scholars from Ethiopia, and those who are from neighboring countries, are well on their way in transforming their lives and, more importantly, the lives of their communities.
Once the Scholars complete their studies at the University of Gondar it is a part of their pledge to the Program to become transformative leaders in their communities and country. For that to happen these talented youth with disabilities and disadvantages must engage in Ethiopia’s work force to make a sizable impact. It is well known that transition to work is not a problem that faces the country of Ethiopia, but many developed nations are facing this social dilemma. A sizable amount of youth in Ethiopia are currently unemployed and that transition from University education to employment can sometimes be a complex one.
For that reason, the Scholars Program has been able to send its first batch of graduates to places like Bahar Dar, Addis Ababa and Hawassa for internships and on the spot job training. There scholars engaged in work that included setting out plans for the respective organization, providing many services, counseling and even door to door CBR field visits. The scholars essentially were employees in their respective environments for 15 days and the above stated partner organizations employed them as full-time staff so that they would understand the ins and outs of the work at hand.
In the spirit of creating a better experience for future interns, scholars and those partner organizations raised comments and put forth some important yet relevant suggestions to be worked on. Some of the suggestions included increasing the internship period, focusing on pairing a variety of youth with disabilities together on future internships, enacting accessibility audits before choosing sites and working with partner organizations to become fully prepared for interns in the future.