Tids and Bits
AWiB Team

AWiB Team

Anna Getaneh, Founder of African Mosaique and Ethiopia Children’s Fund (ECF) 

Anna Getaneh is the founder and creative soul of African Mosaique. Her vision is focused on three elements: sourcing, manufacturing and developing talent in Africa. A fashion-cultural enthusiast, humanitarian, and an acclaimed former international model, her modeling career spanned close to ten years. After having lived and traveled all around the world, Anna recently moved to Ethiopia to start the African Mosaique Design and Fashion Center where she designs, promotes and provides mentorship for the younger generation of Ethiopian designers. Anna‘s move back to Ethiopia is also to run her school that started 16 years ago and to work on opening more schools with the same holistic model in remote villages in Ethiopia.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 09:59

Menelikish men - ReCap

AWiB hosted another wonderful, thought-provoking and entertaining monthly event entitled “AWiB’s Menelikish Men: Men who Support Women”. The panelists shared their personal and professional experiences on the issue. The presentation was really a cohesive conversation between the speakers and the audience. Elements of culture, religion, leadership, child rearing, maternity and paternity leave, policy and self-evaluation were all touched upon, wholly revolving around various aspects of women lacking adequate support on all levels of their personal and work life.

First panelist, Dr. Mehret Debebe, is not only a consulting psychiatrist but also an author and a motivational speaker. With a focus on mindset change and personal development, Dr. Mehret provides various corporate trainings, has published two renowned novels widely read by the Ethiopian public and is also a regular radio guest as an advisor on personal development matters. He started off by saying that we are all born with “infinite possibilities to be either selfless or selfish” and that is what determines whether a man can truly support a woman. Dr. Mehret believes that in order for a man to truly support his counterpart, he must first understand and be in tune with himself as an individual; he must essentially love himself first. He made a clever analogy stating that men and women are but hardware with different software and as such should be approached accordingly with patience and respect and most importantly with the notion that “the concept of support” cannot be forced unto anyone but better yet trained.

The equality gap between men and women would take 100 years to close at its current rate, an economic monitoring group has suggested.

It is the first time that data from the World Economic Forum (WEF) has shown a year-on-year worsening of the gender gap since it began charting it in 2006.

The report ranks 144 countries by economic opportunities, education, political participation and health.

Women are measured as having 68% of the chances and outcomes that men have.

This is slightly down from the 68.3% measured last year.

The group predicts that it would a century to close all areas of equality it monitors globally, well up from the 83 years predicted in 2016.

Read the full story.... 


Yalem Seyoum was born in Maichew , South Tigray  where she attended her elementary and junior secondary schooling. While in high school at Atse Yohannes secondary school in Mekelle  , Yalem was one of many Ethiopian students who participated in the “Edget Behibret” - Development Through Cooperation Campaign. She was first sent to Abi Adi and then to Hagereselam.  While on this assignment, Yalem joined the student movement in 1976. With months left for the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Exam(ESLCE), popularly known as Matric at the time, she  joined the armed struggle as a member of  a city cell. Much to her dismay, however, she was unable to sit for it due to the existence of mass, politically motivated killings known as Red Terror. In March of 1978, Yalem said goodbye to her studies and joined the armed struggle. Speaking of her decision to join the armed struggle, when asked why she left  her studies at such a critical time, Yalem says” There was just too much rampant killing that it was just unbearable”. 

Upon joining the armed struggle, she underwent combat training as part of a group of 24 young girls who came straight from their schools in the city. Upon completing the training, she started as a regular righter and worked her way up to a level of an Army “commissar” (equivalent to a current major). She then became a trainer for a group of women and an entire battalion of women that was more than a thousand strong was trained by her and her other female colleagues. Upon completion of training, these women fighters were called “D’ala” meaning “Equal” – which signifies that women fighters were just as good as men fighters.  From her time in the army, Yalem remembers that women were at the forefront as top fighters and leaders.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:13

AWiB’s board member Sewit on the move

Sewit Haileselassie has been invited to participate in the validation consultation for the Progress study in Youth, Peace and Security” to take place in New York in November. Sewit along with another participant from Kenya, Michael Opondo, will be representing Eastern and Southern Africa to discuss the findings and recommendations identified by the study. The two participants were selected form 17 participants of the Eastern and Southern African consultation to ensure the discussions that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa during the consultation are well represented.

The UN Security Council Resolution 2250 , which was adopted in December 2015 referencing the Women, Peace and security agenda, acknowledges that today’s population of youth is the” largest the world has ever known”. The resolution also expressed concern that youth are the most adversely affected by armed conflict while also recognizing the role that young people play in peace building; acknowledging that to involve young people in the peace building process, they must in turn be recognized as stakeholders. The resolution calls for “inclusive and youth friendly policies” to tapped into the potential of youth today in order to build sustainable peace and economic development.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:07

AWiB WOE 2017: Excellence in Action

This year marked the 6th anniversary of AWIB WOE. The annual Gala Dinner kicked off with the arrival of three out of the five nominees as two were unable to attend. Upon arrival Anna Getaneh, Ellene Mocria and Professor Yalemtsehay Mekonnen were greeted and welcomed by the many attendees. Shortly after, there was an informal Q&A facilitated by the MC of the evening, Metasebia Shewaye Yilma. The dynamic Q&A session gave both the men and women in attendance a chance to ask thought provoking and humorous questions all at the same time. The session ended with the MC taking a selfie with nominees and inviting the guests to take a snapshot with the nominees and to get to know them up close and personal. 

Sebeta Getesemani Bete Denagil Tebabat Nunnery was established in 1953 E.C.; located 24km south of Addis Ababa on the road to Jimma. It was established after the visionary Queen Empress Mennen, who had an ardent love and commitment for her religion, conscious of the reality that worldly possessions are transitory, eventually donated her palace in Sebeta to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The Empress used the palace as a retreat and space for her spiritual devotion time. She was the first queen to donate her palace for a covenant to Ethiopia.

After the palace was converted to a nunnery five monks were transferred here form Ziquala Monastry outside Addis Ababa, and thus communal life of the nunnery began. The nunnery has been progressing since it was handed over to the church after his Imperial Majesty approved transfer of the palace to the church with his signature in 1953 E.C. and the church converted it to the nunnery. After the palace was donated for a nunnery it was put under the administration of the Holy Trinity Cathedral with the responsibility of Haile Selassie I Foundation for its development, which at the time used to supervise the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

After operating under this system its existence was put in question when the Derg came to power. This was because as mentioned above the nunnery was under the Haile Selassie I Foundation with budget support from two sources, The Holy Trinity Cathedral and from the Beata Monastery. The sources of income for the nunnery were from house rents which Empress Mennen donated to the church from other properties such as its big garden, livestock farms, and the school, which all constituted as property of the former palace. As the revolution heated up the nunnery was almost closed, as most of the palace’s property was sold and some even vandalized. Many of the cattle were sold out, and the school was condemned to nationalization. The last remaining 3 nuns left the nunnery as they encountered many different and insurmountable problems.

It was assumed that those who wanted the palace nationalized, destroyed all indications of how the palace was turned into a nunnery. A request was made to Ato. Tekabe, who was the administrator of Sebeta’s Local Administrative Unit at the time to nationalize the palace that Empress Mennen donated to the church. Ato. Tekabe reported the case to the Holy Trinity Cathedral pledging that the palace would not be nationalized while he was still alive. Archbishop Abba Timothewos, just a newly appointed administrator of the Holy Trinty Cathedral at the time, contacted Abba Meaza, now His Grace Abuna Natanael to discuss the case. Both appeared before His Holiness Abune Theophilos to discuss the matter and request for evidence proving that Empress Mennen donated her palace to the Church for Sebeta Nunnery.

With this information, persistent effort and momentum was placed in putting the nunnery’s operation back on track. All the displaced orphans were moved back with the help of the German Humanitarian Organization providing the necessary budget for the support of the children and all the nuns who were dispersed returned to the nunnery. The school had been down graded to the 6th grade form the 8th grade at the time of the political interruption. This is when Emahoy Fikerte Bekele was introduced to the nunnery whose leadership has attained the current level of development. The school upgraded class levels again and dormitories expanded. The nunnery’s farm developed ten-fold increasing their dairy production as well. A branch of the nunnery was opened in Dire Dawa. The number of nuns has grown four times over. A church was also built within the nunnery grounds, serving the community of the nuns and the people of the surrounding areas.

During the initial years, Emahoy Welete Birhan Mekuria, Emahoy Negede Teklewelde, Emahoy Medhin T/Mariam, Emahoy Askale Assefa, Emahoy Welete Iyesus, and Emahoy Kidan Demessie are amongst some of the nuns, some of who have passed away, that may not have participated much in the development at the beginning due to the fact there was not much activity at the time, but did help in the facilitation of the transformation of the nunnery into a center of developmental activities by conducting skill training and running academic education for children.

Currently, the major objective of the nunnery is to serve the nuns as a place of spiritual devotion. However, the church teaches to engage in handicraft activities along with leading a spiritual life; this act contributing to the strengthening of the nuns’ faith in their achievement of their spiritual journey to achieving their goals. The nunnery currently hosts 105 nuns, 250 orphans and 1268 day school children attending the nunnery school. While the nunnery provides full boarding to the orphans, it also provides free education to poor children who are not capable of paying.

The major activities of the nunnery include:

  • religious service
  • child care (school and dormitory)
  • farming activities (cattle rearing; beekeeping etc..)
  • handicrafts
  • health services via a small clinic
  • bakery
  • flour mill

The nuns at the nunnery continue to perform their spiritual duties, carrying out their daily activities to make the nunnery self sufficient and caring for the orphans focusing on instilling in the children values that will support them as they grow into adults. The nuns vary in age, each being given responsibilities in different capacities; harder physical work being given to the younger nuns while lighter work being given to the older nuns who are now role models and exemplary figures to the younger nuns.

The nunnery continues to expand its developmental activities it is undertaking at a larger scale even investing in a guesthouse currently under construction. Among the major objectives of the nunnery was to open a branch. It has opened up a branch under the name Getsemani Mekane Kidusan Abune Aregawi Wearsema Nunnery in 1996 E.C. at Melka Jebdu in Dire Dawa 515 km east of AA; 540 km from the Sebeta Nunnery.

Health Service

The nunnery has a small clinic, which was established to provide health services to the nunnery community and people of the surrounding areas. It has also trained a number of nuns in various health services but unfortunately is not able to accommodate all the trained nuns due to size. 


The nuns are given skill training in academia, making them able to conduct classes. They are also responsible to give care as mothers to the orphans. The school is co-ed and follows the curriculum of the Ministry of education; the dormitories, though, are female only. All children attending the school have succeeded in their studies on all levels from kindergarten to universities.

Many parents died as a result of the 1969 drought, leaving behind young children. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church took it upon itself the responsibility of taking care of these children. It opened children’s care centers throughout the country saving thousands of children’s lives. Humanitarian organization and individuals outside the country supported the church with its effort of caring for thee children. The Christian community of Germany also stood by the church during these times.


Agriculture and Livestock

The nunnery plants various types of fruits and vegetables. The fruit and vegetable are harvested monthly, annually and perennially. It also plants various types of trees to replace the lost forest to in efforts to keep the beauty of the premises and the natural environment. The nunnery uses some of its harvest for internal consumption, distributes to some people in the area and sells its produces for its sustainability as well. Activities include livestock rearing for their farming purposes and the production of dairy products and honey for both consumption and distribution.




How You Can Help


  • money
  • clothes
  • books


  • check out their workshops
  • buy their handmade crafts which include:
    • tablecloths
    • bedspreads
    • sweaters
    • traditional scarfs
    • purses

Institutions like these are the backbone of our communities. They carry the burden of which we do not want to bother with or have the time for. They sustain themselves on minimal and humbly hope for more through their daily prayers and spiritual meditations. They do not voice their struggles, nor do they complain when matters do not add up in their favors. So, if anything spread the word and let somebody you know that, maybe, will know somebody able to contribute in whatever means.

Message from Emahoy Fikerte Mariam Bekele
Head of the Sebeta Getsemani Bete Denagil Tebabat Nunnery

“It is good to refrain from service that is hasty”

We learn from the Holy Book and our Fathers that there are a lot of things we need to perform in out lifetime as Christians. For example, it is obligatory to do things that true Christians do and show true Christian behavior such as, to be steadfast in our faith, to stand committed to the ideals of Christian life and to be trustworthy.

A nun is expected to distance herself from things that separate her from God, and distort her spiritual life, but must also guard against unwarranted traditional practices. She must refrain herself from valueless services that is hasty, and contribute to her share of duties in the fulfillment of her highest goals. Besides this, a nun must have unshakeable joy and hope in God. She must always strengthen her relation with God with patience in her spiritual journey, full of love and without pretension. Otherwise she may stumble in her journey and fail.

The Sebeta Getsemani Bete Denagil Tebabat nuns carry out many activities with blessings from God in accordance with the instruction of our Holy Church along with their religious practices and with faith in God. It should be noted here that the nunnery has faced a lot of obstacles while carrying out its activities.

“Salt and light are silent; but they give service without making noise about what nature has ordained them to do.”

The nunnery shows the result of its hard work not by making loud noise, but through the practical results it achieves. The nunnery may be likened to the work of salt and light. We do not make noise over what we have done or do.

In general, we believe it is good to listen to all kinds of views. It is encouraging to receive views of others, as it provides additional motivation for us to do better. The nuns here are prepared to improve on all aspects of their daily activities. They are steadfast in their aims and progression with the help and guidance of God. We would like to make sure we thank His Holiness Abune Paulos Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Archbishop of Axum, Etchege of the See of Saint Tekle Haimanot and the president of the World Council of Churches and others archbishops of our Holy Church for all their encouragement and support they have given us.

Some of the schools’ girls pictured here with Emahoy Fikerte Mariam Bekele

The youngest girl currently living at the nunnery; two years old.

* Detailed information can be found at AWiB’s center.

Friday, 20 October 2017 07:02

Is Networking Really That Important?

Sometimes getting ahead is all about who you know.

Jul 22, 2017 at 2:47PM

Every person you meet in both your professional and personal life might be the one who makes a key introduction for you later. That makes doing the groundwork of networking one of the most important things any person can do when it comes to advancing their career.

If you're outgoing and unafraid of introducing yourself to strangers, making connections and networking may come naturally for you.

But if you're shy or a bit introverted, it can be a painful process. Even so, it's still important: You have to find ways to put yourself out there and create the network that may someday help you get where you want to go.

People mingle at a busines event


What is networking

Networking goes beyond just meeting people. It's the process of creating a far-flung group of contacts that will theoretically help you advance your career. Creating that network involves connecting with people, and forging a bond that's a bit deeper than just having them know your name.

In my early career when I traveled to trade shows, I took pictures of every person I spent time with (with an actual camera). Each night I made notes on the person, writing down some highlights of our conversation. If he or she had kids, liked the Red Sox, or was traveling to France, I made note of it in order to build the connection by having that personal knowledge at hand for the next time we met.

What can networking do for you?

Would you rather walk into a room where nobody knows you or walk into one where an acquaintance introduces you to a few people? Even if you still have to meet a lot of strangers, having a few warm contacts makes everything easier.

Some people may not genuinely love helping others, but most like being a hero. If someone in your network knows you are looking for a job and can recommend you to someone who needs to hire someone, that person becomes a hero to two people. Of course, some people do just want to help, and having them in your network can give you an advocate when you most need one.

Networking can be the difference

When many jobs come open, the person doing the hiring gets inundated with resumes. In many cases, more than a few people applying have the requisite qualifications, at least on paper.

If someone in your network knows the person doing the hiring, or even someone at the company, he or she can put a word in for you. That won't get you the job, but it could get you an interview and at least a chance to sell yourself. In addition, if you and another candidate grade out similarly, the hiring person may go with you because of the indirect personal connection.

Networking isn't easy

My biggest professional regret is that for the first 15 or so years of my now 24-year working life I did a bad job of keeping up with my connections. I networked plenty and met a lot of people, but in the days before social media, I let many of those connections slip away.

Now people have fewer excuses because technology makes it easier to keep in touch with people. Once you meet someone you can keep up the networking by engaging in an appropriate digital conversation. That has to be more than just sending a birthday greeting because Facebook tells you to. In general, it means sending a thoughtful message or even picking up a phone a few times a year to maintain the actual connection.

This is where the value of networking can increase exponentially. There's a difference between someone having vague, fond feelings for you and him or her knowing you well enough to pick up the phone or send an email for you.

You must network

The broader your network, the easier your career will be. As you get more experienced networking become a two-way street as you will be able to help both younger people and those who once helped you.

If you choose to not network or let your relationships wither, you make your career harder and will likely lose out on opportunities. Building and nurturing your network may be the single most important thing (aside from being good at your job) in your working life.

Do it well and everything gets easier, more doors open for you, and more opportunities come your way. Fail to network well and you will see things you want go to other people as you say "if only I knew someone who could make an introduction." 

The $16,122 Social Security bonus you could be missing 
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Source: https://www.fool.com/careers/2017/07/22/is-networking-really-that-important.aspx

Classes in Nairobi aim to teach boys and young men what constitutes harassment - and how to intervene if they spot it happening on public transport. The people behind the Kenyan scheme say it's been successful but does it have an effect outside of the classroom? Read More ....

Friday, 20 October 2017 06:41

WOE 2017 Program

  • 4:00  PM: Guests Arrive  

  • 4:30 PM WOE arrive to mingle with guests

  • 4:30 - 5:30 PM: Facilitated Q&A

  • (5:30 PM Dining room opens)

  • 5:30 - 6:00 Guests are seated

  • 6:15 - 6:25 WOE Ceremonial procession to Dining room

  • 6:25 - 6:35 Evening program Starts; MC makes opening remarks

  • 6:35 - 6:40 MC Introduces the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association

  • 6:40 - 7:10 EWLA Documentary

  • 7:10 - 7:25: Remarks: UNWOMEN Country Director Letty Chiwara

  • 7:25 - 7:35 UN Women presents EWLA an award for Institutional Excellence & EWLA’s Acceptance Speech

  • 7:35 - 7:50 PM: Dance Show

  • 7:50 - 8:20 PM: Viewing WOE Film

  • 8:30 - 9:40 PM: Dinner is Served (Hibir violinists serenade)

  • 9:20 - 9:40 PM: WOE will circulate the room.

  • 9:40 - 9:45 PM: Keynote speaker Tsedey Asrat

  • 9:45 - 10:00 PM:A representative of the WOE judges introduces the process

  • 10:00 PM: WOE Titleholder is announced

  • 10:30 PM: Closing
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AWiB would like to proudly acknowledge its partners for the year.