On 7 December 2019 the University of Gondar launched its long anticipated Gondar Family Project. The initiative that will link 5,000 first year students from the University of Gondar with families from the city of Gondar is a first of its kind at UoG.
Those who took part in the launching of the event included, among others, the Minister of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education Prof. Hirut Woldemariam, Investment and Industry Bureau head Melaku Alebel, University of Gondar President Dr. Asrat Atsedeweyn, Gondar City Mayor Engineer Mastawal Siyum, comedian/actor Dereje Haile, Gondar families and the freshmen students.
In his welcoming remarks Dr. Asrat Atsedeweyn expressed his view on the current affairs in Ethiopia and how it is connected with the Gondar Family Project. “At this moment the international community is not looking for isolation, but is looking to find common ground and relationships with other individuals of different races and backgrounds” said Dr. Asrat. And he referenced that Ethiopians must do the same internally to consolidate a better future for the country.
Dr. Asrat also shared that the current problems that the country is facing sprouted from not knowing the value of each others diversity, not understanding the shared history of everyone’s forefathers, not knowing that each Ethiopian is a shield for one another and not moving forward with the original values and ethics that each Ethiopian was born with.
Gondar has been a city for close to 500 years and once was the capital city of the entire realm. In its rich history the city of Gondar has, not only housed all Ethiopians, but also has hosted peoples from all walks of life. Greeks, Armenians, Italians, Saudis and Yemenis have all been able to live along side Ethiopians and they were able to live in unity. The historical city of Gondar is also the home to the three major religious faiths, which include Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
The city has always been known for its hospitality and the Gondar Family Project is huge testament to this. The Mayor of the City of Gondar stressed that this Project does not only show the hospitality of Gondar but shows its commitment to unity and peace by forging a promise and oath that will link the two sides (students and Gondar Families) for many years to come.
In her opening and keynote speech the Minister of Science and Higher Education Prof Hirut Woldemariam also shared that this Project should be an example for other Universities and that UoG should “gain some great recognition for their work” in this regard.
The activities that took place during the landmark event included a motivational and comedic performance by Dereje Haile, musical performances, ceremonial cutting of bread by heads of the institutions, motivational speeches by young up and coming scholars and a handing over of a certificate of recognition to the City Mayor for his contribution and idea for the Gondar Family Project.
The Gondar Family project saw hundreds if not thousands of freshmen students meeting with their new family from Gondar and in the weeks and months ahead the coordinators and heads of the project will look to connect the remaining students to their new Gondar families in due time.
Public and International Relations Directorate