PROJECT-E is based on the idea of improving the career prospects of young women in Ethiopia by providing higher education. In Ethiopian society, women are not necessarily eligible or even encouraged to strive for higher education. PROJECT-E empowers education for those women to help them to overcome the vicious circle of poverty and enables them to contribute to their own living. PROJECT-E only exists with the help of young volunteers and students: They all work in web-based online meetings from their home towns in Europe. PROJECT-E does not spend money on a European headquarter or expensive European infrastructure. The members meet biannually for the strategy weekend to discuss current challenges, strategies, and tasks. Development can only be sustainable when it becomes part of the local community. All of the staff employed at the college is Ethiopian. In order to ensure sustainable project management that is locally rooted, we have successfully handed over our AOSTD College to a local partner organisation. Our initiatives are based on the demand for well-trained young professionals on the job market in Addis Ababa. Not only theoretical knowledge but also hands-on training, due to several curriculum-integrated internships, provides the students the highly sought overall package of skills. PROJECT-E has successfully founded the AOSTD College for secretaries in 2009 and the Hospitality Institute in 2015. Despite the immense unemployment rate in Ethiopia, all graduates have been able to find employment. PROJECT-E is as cost-effective as possible: There are neither overhead costs nor expenditures for infrastructure like office rental in Europe because we all work voluntarily and from our respective places of residence. So, we have minimal administrative costs in Europe that are spent on marketing collateral. All donations are transferred directly to the project and benefit the students as well as the local staff in Ethiopia. PROJECT-E promotes life skills and self-confidence. The education program goes beyond the required curriculum: The one-and-a-half-year vocational training focuses on practical experiences, communications, and language skills to prepare the students at their best for contact with international guests. PROJECT-E brings extra-curricular activities to the student's daily life and strengthens their personal development.
We want to make an impact – a lasting one. Empowering Ethiopian women through education doesn’t only help those individuals, but the entire society. Higher education is key to economic development and ultimately the escape from poverty – that is what we have dedicated ourselves to. Increasing the skill and knowledge level of women is our ultimate goal in order to enable them to live an independent and self-determined life.
Besides this project goal in Ethiopia, the PROJECT-E team in Europe has its agenda as well: Empowering others to empower ourselves. We are all students and young professionals working voluntarily in our free time for this goal – we all share a great responsibility, which allows us to develop our skills in leadership, project management, and determination. Hopefully, we can continue to motivate young people from all kinds of backgrounds to get involved – there is no better way of challenging yourself and investing in your personal development.
PROJECT-E was founded with the idea of improving the career prospects of women in Ethiopia back in 2009. The woman from deprived family background seldom gets the chance for a self-determined and financially independent life. Women require further support for a chance to determine their lives independently. PROJECT-E supports women from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and orphans in the development of their personality and their competence.