INEDIS Kick-off Workshop in Ethiopia

3. May 2017
Gorup of people posing for a picture
For the first time the entire team that consists of members of four universities met in person, got to know each other and laid the foundation for the upcoming project activities. The kick-off meeting took place in Ethiopia at the beginning of April 2017.


Testify my ability

By Yeneneh G/Hiwot

I have answer to who say incapable

testify that I am computable

If somebody said me disable

They think my potential is incredible

None product and inviable

That my role is inconsiderable

But,.. but I testify my ability

If you give me an opportunity

By considering human identity

I need a right, equity & dignity

I deny your wellbeing & charity

Please respect my personality

Let me tell you some examples

That we can perform many things

“Helen Keller” is my witness

You know she was wrote many books

Which are medicines for mental stress?

However she was blind and deaf

Don’t forget her fabulous believe

So to fulfill our responsibility

In loyal social integrity

People with disable have a vision

Which helpful for all nation

By promoting social inclusion

The poem was composed and recited at the closing ceremony of the workshop by Yeneneh G/Hiwot, participating MA student from Dilla University. The teams from Addis Ababa University, Gondar University and the University of Vienna travelled to Hawassa and were picked up by Dilla University to drive to Dilla, in the South of Ethiopia. The first meeting of the coordinator with the local team leaders from Addis Ababa, Gondar, Dilla, and Vienna was on the 3rd of April. The workshop of the project INEDIS (Inclusion in Education for Persons with Disabilities) started on the 4th and lasted until the 7th of April. In this first meeting all the participants from the four Universities and two members of the advisory board of the project met the first time all together.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to getting to know each other and introducing the project. Ato Ababu Teshome from Dilla University and team leader of the Dilla team said some welcoming words in the beginning. The welcoming speech was then held by the Vice President for administration and student affairs of Dilla University, Ato Tesfaye Minota. Prof. Gottfried Biewer from the University of Vienna was invited to say some words before the project coordinator, Assoc. Prof. Alemayehu Teklemariam, welcomed all participants and presented the overall project activities.

In the afternoon, all the University teams were invited to present their action plans. These covered the different topics of gender-based violence and gender training, research on inclusion of students with disabilities in higher education, and community based rehabilitation as well as community and school development. In the evening, the team leaders of the three Ethiopian Universities and Prof. Gottfried Biewer from Austria met for discussing issues of management and communication.  The second day was used for discussing project management, monitoring and evaluation. After this, the different teams worked in groups on their implementation plans for the first year and presented them to the whole consortium. Later there was time for individual meetings.

On the third day the teams were mixed to get concrete feedback on specific actions of each project component. This was considered a very fruitful task that also supported the team building process substantially. Furthermore, Prof. Gottfried Biewer presented the European Union project “Bridging the Gap”, which has some related issues to be considered for future collaboration and exchange.

In the evening the team leaders, the Advisory Board, the coordinator Assoc. Prof. Alemayehu Teklemariam and Prof. Gottfried Biewer met for discussing open questions about different topics regarding project management, budget issues etc.  The morning of the fourth day was planned for a field visit to Yirgacheffe, where one of the best coffees grows. After this the team drove to the main campus of Dilla University. In the afternoon the workshop was closed by Ato Ababu Teshome, Assoc. Prof. Alemayehu Teklemariam and Prof. Gottfried Biewer. The whole group was invited to give feedback. This closing event proved how much all the participants had started to identify with the project and how well all got to know each other. The team feels well prepared for the common work in the first project year and is looking forward to the next meeting in 2018 in Gondar.