There were no fancy accessories, no expensive props, and no high expectations. The simple, honest exhibitions of dance, song, testimonials, and speeches could only witness joy, pleasure, pride, and a deep desire to continue to excel.
As part of IIE's Higher Education Readiness (HER) program, which provides young women in secondary school from underserved communities with a pathway to university, our team in the Addis Ababa office is organizing inspirational speakers to meet with the girls several times each semester. The speakers are Ethiopian women who have, despite challenges in their lives, become leaders in their field. The speakers are wonderful examples for the girls on what they can become if they focus, stay in school, and follow their dreams.
Chadleya Idriss began making toys for her children using recycled wood, which was “safer, more environmentally friendly, and more affordable than store-bought toys,” she explains. Chadleya went to the WES Center for Women’s Business Development in Kairouan, Tunisia, with a dream of starting a toy business. She participated in the WES entrepreneurship training and worked closely with the WES Center staff to conduct market research on the local toy industry. Last November, Chadleya launched her new business, Toy Story.
Two hundred girls in the Addis Ketema and Fitawrari high schools have now been awarded HER! An important component of the Higher Education Readiness (HER) program is communication and involvement of the parents, because as we know, if they are not supportive, the likelihood of the girls staying in school is minimal.
Today, women make up 12 percent of all computer science grads. Just three decades ago, they represented 37 percent. They’re half the workforce, but hold only a quarter of technical or computing jobs.
Every year in March, IIE celebrates International Women's Day by sharing about the bright young participants of IIE's Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives.
IIE is excited to announce that an additional 100 girls were awarded IIE's Higher Education Readiness (HER) scholarship. These 11th grade girls (fifty each from Fitawrari and Addis Ketema schools) should be proud of their accomplishments. They were selected by an independent review panel consisting of Ethiopian leaders in the non-profit and private sectors. The panelists chose the next round of HER girls based on academic successes, financial need, and potential for leadership. After a thorough review of all the submitted applications, the review panel submitted the final list for IIE review and notification to the selected girls and schools.
The Verizon Innovative Learning Program (VILP) has achieved yet another milestone! Forty Verizon volunteers—women employees at the Chennai and Hyderabad offices in South India—went through a kick-start workshop to begin the mentoring process for VILP girls. Through interactive, back-to-back workshops at two locations, mentors were briefed about the program, and they discussed their hopes and fears for the mentoring process. In order to develop a deeper understanding about their role as mentors, participants reflected upon occasions when they themselves had been mentored. Finally the group discussed the nuts and bolts of the mentoring process under VILP.
The HER girls, participants of IIE’s Higher Education Readiness (HER) program, have been busy over the past few months with tutoring, meeting with their mentors, and the important year-end exams. This summer they are attending entrepreneurship and English language training workshops.