On 9 August 2017 Save the Children Foundation conducted a final report review with UoG-CBR in attendance. The project review was commissioned by Save the Children Norway to document the cross-thematic model (mainly in child protection and education), document results and to gather lessons learnt.
The key stakeholders of the review were Save the Children Norway (SCN), Save the Children Ethiopia (SCEth), The University of Gondar staff, Key Project staff, CBR Director, CBR Coordinator and the likes.
Such Organizations seek to reinforce child protection and the well being of these children are of a high priority to them. With putting those children who are the worst hit by social and economic problems first, the organization proposes that other such foundations do the same. Save the Children Norway has recently, in addition to assisting the marginalized, has focused on including children with disabilities in its current strategy.
In an interview, I spoke with Christine Requites who works on child protection and is an advisor in that field with SCN East Africa. Along with being in child protection in Ethiopia she also stretches to South Sudan, Somalia and Uganda. She develops the local staff here in Ethiopia, especially Gondar, by developing and implementing Child protection programs.
When asked what she aims to accomplish in her time here in Gondar, she replied, “One aim is to give support in terms of our programming on child protection. The other is to contribute to disability programs we have in cooperation with The University of Gondar which looks at providing access to protection services, education services and health services for children with disabilities.”
The University of Gondar and its Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program are doing many things to help the disabled in and around Gondar. Through big grants and assistance like the Master Card Foundations 24.2 million dollar pledge, children who have potential and are underestimated by society have a chance to showcase their ability and flourish. The University of Gondar is also taking strides to accommodate the handicapped. With the near goal of making every entrance at the University of Gondar accessible to the disabled, UoG is playing a major role.
In closing my one-on-one interview with Christine Requites, I asked how she characterizes the relationship between Save the Children Norway and The University of Gondar. She reflected on past events and teamwork in her response. “I think that Save the Children and UoG have a long standing and good relationship. We have been working with them for over 10 years.” She continued, “The University of Gondar has been a good partner for Save the Children both in implementing the CBR program, but also with their expertise giving us a lot of valued knowledge and capacity building because they are the ones who are experts in disability inclusion, so we really depend on good partnerships, and UoG is providing just that.”
Within 10 year it is believed via the Master Card Schools Programs, that UoG will give many talented individuals the opportunity to be educated in a higher institution. With projects such as this, along with projects such as the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) program and the GCC (Girls Can Code) initiative that are being implemented, the University of Gondar takes one giant leap towards international standards.
By Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate