The University of Gondar’s Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is in its sixth year, and all signs point to success. Many scholars who have benefited from and gained skills over the previous years have voiced their excitement in the continuous positive transformation they are experiencing. The scholars are enjoying an all-expenses-paid education at Ethiopia’s top-ranked university, and they appear to be displaying evidence of remarkable leadership qualities on a daily basis.
In line with the constant progress and capacity building that enshrines the foundations of the Program, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Gondar conducted a 2 day consultative meeting in late September. The informative talks brought together people from throughout Ethiopia who put the lives of people with disabilities and disadvantages at the forefront.
Partners and stakeholders 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, 17 Alumni Scholars and MCF staff.
Among the talks that took place one of the more important topics was a recent internship program that graduating Scholars attended and took part in. The internship program was conducted for 21 days at Bahir Dar rehabilitation center, Mahibere Hiwot for Social Development, Cheshire Service Ethiopia, and Ethiopian center for Disability and Development (ECDD) Hawassa center.
When speaking to Muluken Jegnie, Career Service Coordinator at the Scholars Program at UoG, he shared that the discussions were on the current internship program’s “strength and weakness” and some other key areas. In the talks those in attendance, including the Program’s Partners and scholars, got the opportunity to raise numerous pertinent comments and suggestions for the future improvement of internship initiatives and endeavors. Muluken also detailed that the participants also discussed the call for community giveback, the way scholars should be able to innovate and entrepreneurship projects.
Alumni Mohammedsani Ali who recently graduated with a Sociology degree and who is now an alumni of the Scholars Program at UoG expressed his delight in the consultative meeting and shared that moving forward such talks can only make the Scholars Program a better platform for the future. “We were able to share our concerns and excitement on the internship endeavors and this was great for not only us, but also future scholars who will benefit from our experiences,” said Mohammedsani.
One of the better experiences the Sociology graduate took from the internship program was the fact that there were numerous etiquette and norms to workplace environments. Mohammedsani shared, “I really liked the internship program because we were able to go to numerous facilities and working environments and were taught the art of workplace regulation and this would undoubtedly show me how to be a better worker for my future employer.”
The Scholars Program at the University of Gondar is a first of its kind in Ethiopia and continues to break boundaries which were previously unchartered. With 4 years left on its 10 year span the Program will continue to make a sizable impact in the lives of many and continue to prepare the countries talented youth for the real world, which awaits them.