Friday, September 7, 2012

30 Young People Graduate from Project Prepare!

The Project Prepare team is pleased to announce that two of the pilot sites, Children's Heaven and AHOPE for Children, have successfully completed IOFA’s 6-week life skills curriculum for orphaned youth in the process of aging out of care.

Since the last time we blogged, participants have discussed a wide variety of topics including family planning, protection against sexual assault, and how to say no to drugs. These classes further highlighted the importance of Project Prepare’s curriculum as it was the first time many of the kids thought about when they would be ready to have a family, identified their own comfort levels within a relationship, and learned about the various types of drugs that existed aside from Khat, a locally grown and legal street drug.

The class ended this week with a module on planning for the future, specifically addressing how to attain higher education. Participants were asked to identify individuals in their own lives that have attended university or vocational training. For many of them, they could only name staff members at their organization or peers within the class who have been able to achieve such a level of education. Students then listed qualities that made these individuals successful not only in school, but in life. Kids identified qualities such as being a hard-worker as one of the most important. Thereafter, participants were asked what career path they would like to choose for their future. Some of the many answers included doctor, pilot, business owner, social worker, and soccer player. While many participants could quickly identify their future dreams and goals, it was the first time they were asked to think about what it would take to achieve their dreams. “The class was very helpful and practical,” said one participant.

To end the curriculum, students were presented with a certificate of completion to be presented as part of their future portfolios. Both pilot sites recognized and thanked IOFA for providing instruction to facilitate the class. They hope to continue and build on the conversation that the class started. As one AHOPE youth mentor explained, “the life skills curriculum was very helpful and opened the door to talk to the kids about important issues. However, learning these skills is something that we hope to continue to give the boys as they move into the transitional house.” AHOPE also plans on implementing IOFA’s curriculum for the girls in the near future.

IOFA would like to thank the staff and youth allies at AHOPE and Children’s Heaven for their cooperation and diligent work to implement the first Project Prepare curriculum for Ethiopia! Thank you!

Amharic Word of the Week:
Chigrellum (shig rey lum)- No problem