Since June 2019, Jerusalem Children & Community Development Organization (JeCCDO) with a fund from Sweden International Development Agency (SIDA) and in Partnership the office of the First Lady, and different sector bureau has been implementing a project entitled “Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Women and girls in Commercial sex industry in Bahirdar city of Amhara National Regional State.”
The major components of the project include psychosocial, medical, social, economic rehabilitations as well as prevention of the problem of commercial sex. Throughout its life of four and half years, the project targeted 550 vulnerable women and girls for rehabilitation services. So far, 129 women and girls have benefited from the rehabilitation and skill trainings in five rounds and helped them to engaged in small business activities and access to employment opportunities in the private sectors.
Accordingly, JeCCDO has organized the 5th round graduation ceremony colorfully for 53 of the above-mentioned 129 vulnerable women, who were trained on such skills as hairdressing, food preparation, tailoring, sheep fattening, and management of small businesses for the last three months. The graduation event was held on March 5, 2022, at Unison Hotel in Bahir Dar, the beautiful city and capital of the Amhara National Regional State.
More than 100 people drawn from key government stakeholders, including the regional council, CSOs, donors, representatives, private sector organizations, CBOs, JeCCDO staff, religious organizations, and the media attended the event.
The event started with a welcome speech by Ato Mulugeta Gebru, CEO of JeCCDO who highlighted the thematic focuses of the organization including target, geographic focus, key achievements, lessons learned, and next actions. He did welcome all of the invited guests and expressed his appreciation to the graduates for attending and completing the rehabilitation program successfully.
Next, the previously graduated and successful targets presented their success stories and the tangible changes they have been observing in their lives due to the project. They have presented how the comprehensive rehabilitation service of JeCCDO has enabled them to detach from the miserable life they were living including addiction and bad behaviors as well as attitudes.
The project Coordinator, W/ro Tihiys Tibebu has made a brief presentation regarding objective of the project, key components and outcomes, major achievements, lesson learned and challenges faced.
During the event, trainees were awarded with certificate from the hands of W/ro Zina Getachew, Deputy Head of Women, Children and Social Affair and Ato Mulugeta Geberu, JeCCDO CEO.
JeCCDO has also awarded the previously trained and successful targeted women in their business engagements by selecting them with clear criteria. Accordingly, a total of seven successful targeted women were awarded with eight thousand birr each.
Audiences of the event including graduates reflected on the overall coordination and successes of the project intervention. During the reflection, stakeholders showed their commitment to supporting the project and creating a conducive environment for the trained women. Graduates also reflected on their gratitude to JeCCDO and its committed staff for the unreserved support they provided during their stay in the rehabilitation center.
Further, graduates reflected on the overall support of the project and their success. Additionally, they have presented different poems that focused on their life experience and support of the project, and their determination to engage in a new life. They have also presented songs about women’s rights. Further, they have reflected on their overall feelings and satisfaction with the comprehensive rehabilitation services.
The honorable gust, W/ro Lubaba Abdu, Chairperson of the Women, Children and Social Affairs Standing Committee for Children and Women Affairs of the Amhara National Regional State Council has made closing remark and said congratulations to the graduates. Wro. Lubaba underlined the standing committee is highly committed to follow up the status of the trained women and urged to the Works, Labour and Training Department of the region to give attention to the previous, present and future graduates. Besides, she added that all the stakeholders shall provide the required support to the rehabilitated women and create conducive environment.
Finally, Ato Mulugeta, thanked all of the audience, graduates and staff of JeCCDO for their unreserved contributions and efforts to the success of the project. Further Mulugeta added that it wouldn’t be possible to achieve such results of the action without the full engagement and support of all of the stakeholders, staff and commitment of targets. Hence, he has requested all of the stakeholders for their continual support during the remaining life of the project including support to today’s graduates and those who have already engaged in different business activities.
The Amara Media Corporation has covered the graduation event in its News on March 5 and 6, 2022.