April’s monthly event revolved around the issue of social enterprise in the Ethiopian context, focusing on one social entrepreneur Ato Kibret Abebe. The host for the evening, Meti Shewaye Yilma opened the event by introducing the AWiB board members inviting attendees to visit the AWiB website for more news on current activities.
Ato Kibret Abebe is the founder ofTebita Ambulance the first privately owned pre-hospital emergency aid provider in Ethiopia. One of the top anesthesiologists in the country,Ato Kibret is social entrepreneur passionate about challenging individuals to think about their contribution to society and country.
AWiB’s 2nd RTD of the month was on behavioral engagement for passion and fulfillment hosted by Edme Alem Giza,a life coach, consultant and psychiatrist from a company called Mind Morning. Before we started our discussion we had to understand those key words: Behavioral engagement, passion and fulfillment. Three forms of engagement are essential to find passion: Emotional engagement, behavioral engagement and cognitive engagement. And our main concern of the day was behavioral engagement. Achieving it requires the combination of our effort and persistence. And this engagement is very important to finding our passion. He then explained the two types of passion. Harmonious which is what we should all aspire to have and obsessive which is highly held and negative. And lastly fulfillment is related to self-realization; self-actualization which means knowing our capacity and self- responsibility, which appears when we find our purpose. Purpose is most important element in all of this process.
Recap HealthSmart on Contraception
Are you ready for pregnancy? Are you at least aware of the safe options you have to prevent pregnancy? Do you know how contraceptives work and what side effects they have? On March 18th, Saturday 2017 in the afternoon our program on HealthSmart: contraception was given by Dr. MunirKassa, a very well-known gynecologist from St. Paul hospital with three assistant nurses. The AWiB Resource Center (ARC) was filled with concerned a group of 20 people. We began the program by introducing ourselves which created a more comfortable environment. It got more interesting as Dr. Munir asked all of us to share any kind of myth we had heard about contraceptives. The myths going around were funny as well as concerning.
On March 4, 2017the first meditation session of the year was held at AWIB resource center (ARC). It was given by the gracious Megbar Ayalew (Magi). It began at 9:00 AM and closed at 11:00 AM. 14 participants were present in the room and we were all looking forward to relaxation. Magi sitting in a comfortable way on her chair, she began explaining why we need meditation for.
Life happens only in the present moment. The past has already passed and the future is yet to come. We only have control on the present moment. What do we want in life? We should list out and ask for it to get answers. In order to getanswers we must be in the present moment and should be able to silent our chattering minds.
After an engaging networking session and delicious refreshments, the event started off with the President Elect, Sara Tadiwos’ opening remarks. Sara introduced AWiB to the attendees and spoke a little about the person who graced the spotlight this month, encouraging all to read about her as a woman making a difference. She concluded by reminding everyone on the Saturday Roundtable discussions.
The discussion for the evening was led by Billene Seyoum, Managing Director of EARUYAN Solutions. Earuyan’s, most fittingly, means Equality in Ge’ez and the team lead by Billene, kicked off the night. She started off by appreciating the “Positive Woman Energy” in the room (there was quite a bit of that) and wishing everyone a happy International Women’s Day. She also acknowledged that all three hundred and sixty five days of the year should be International Women’s Day. She introduced the objective of the session as a chance to reflect on our collective journey and invited everyone to be an actor instead of a spectator. The session was to be a dialogue to inspire individual and collective action.
On February 18, a group of 4 women including myself gathered at AWiB’s Resource Center (ARC) to discuss about understanding oneself. Each of us having our own questions about the topic, we sat across each other. The host was Megbar Ayalew, a meditation and yoga instructor. She began the discussion by asking us what we wanted from life. Finding happiness and living life to the fullest was the common answers. A question was raised in our minds if we even understood ourselves well enough to know exactly what we want.
Our mind is a powerful tool and can go to different places in a second. We can think of a million things at once. In thediscussion it was mentioned that our mind is like a wild monkey, yet we keep on feeding it bananas when we can tame it. We shouldn’t let our mind control us. We should be the ones guiding our mind to do its job. One way to do this is by keeping a journal; this helps our mind to stay focused in one place. We can also keep a list of wishes and list of things we are grateful for.
On February 4, 2017 the first RTD of the year was opened at AWIB Resource Center. The RTD hosted by Psychologist and (AAU) Addis Ababa University Lecturer Seble Hailu was entitled ‘Honest Communication’, which was very interesting for all of us. Seble started the discussion by raising a warm up question. We were asked to introduce ourselves and then to choose a particular color that we think describes us best. This seemed to me as a test to evaluate ourselves honesty to the self. It really felt good associating one’s own feeling with color and describing it accordingly.
Then after, we were asked to describe honesty by one single word. All of us gave one word that we thought best describes honesty for each of us. While doing this it became very clear to all of us how beautiful honesty is because all the words each of us used to describe it is what any human kind wants to have in her/his personality or life.
AWIB’s monthly event on February 2nd was under the topic The Art of Working with Women; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, following AWiB’s theme of creating and celebrating the culture of collaboration. The two main presenters, Wondwossen Teshome, President of Enat Bank and Azeb Retta, Manager of Global Hotel, began the discussion by speaking about their personal experience working with women.
Wondwossen gave a brief introduction of Enat Bank and the bank’s involvement in bettering the circumstances of women in Ethiopia. Founded by 11 women, with 56% of clients and 65% of shareholders female, Enat Bank deems gender equality to be a primary value. The bank employs gender mainstreaming measures to create strong teams of both male and female employees.
How can we enable each other to shine? This was the topic of discussion at the January 5th, 2017 World Café, hosted by Nadia Waber and Sarah Tadiwos.
World café is around table discussion designed to create collaborative dialogue and knowledge-sharing. The informal setting will nurture creativity as opposed to the more formal organized meeting. ‘Let me buy you coffee’ or ‘let’s have tea’ suggestions between friends result in open discussions about issues relevant to our lives. Established in the belief that great conversations happen when we have freedom and opportunity to be inspired, to meet people different from who we are, this World Café did not disappoint.
As a sequel of the Women of Excellence gala on October 30th a much more intimate conversation with the award nominees took place on December 1st in Hilton Hotel. Attendees were invited to revisit the award through a 12-minute video recap of the ceremony’s highlights. Those who were not present at the award had the chance to see the women enter the gala in all their glory to standing ovation from the audience and to observe the judges attempt to choose ‘the tallest Goliath amongst Goliaths’, a difficult feat that nevertheless resulted in the crowning of W/o Tsehay Roshli as the titleholder of 2016’s Women of Excellence award, and Hermella Wondimu as the year’s young woman of excellence. The video documented a certain judge’s speech in which he admitted that all except one of them had not known the titleholder’s name before the award despite all their lives having been touched by her work—a swift kick in the shin that served to remind attendees of why the Women of Excellence is a necessary recognition.
Following the visual recap, attendees watched short videos in which the nominees talked about their individual stories, their work, their motivating drive and their respective philosophies. The subjects the women addressed in these videos ranged from abstractions like the power of education, the significance of culture, and the importance of confidence to the inspirational prowess of Matt Damon and his charity work, but it was clear that all the women agreed on two things: mothers are strong role models and sources of inspiration, and women are pillars of the community.