Geld inzamelen | Educational trip to Ethiopia
 
 

Educational trip to Ethiopia

Help ons om naar Ethiopië te gaan!

We are Aida, Paula, Taibi and Victoria, four students from The Netherlands. We are planning on attending the International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20) that will be held in Mek’ele, Ethiopia, on 1-5 October 2018. 

In order to actually go there, we need to raise a certain amount of money to defray the costs of our flight tickets, accommodation, vaccinations, visas etc. Your donation would help us achieve our goal and make our biggest dream come true!

Attending the ICES20 would be a great opportunity to broaden our horizons and prepare us for our academic future. The conference concentrates on a variety of disciplines, from Archaeology, paleoanthropology & heritage, Arts & Architecture, Social anthropology & cultural studies to Economics & development studies, Law, governance & political economy and Population & gender studies. Being a part of this conference would be a once in a lifetime experience that we would never forget.

All four of us are in our final year of High School, which means that at the end of the next school year, we have to hand in our Profielwerkstuk (PWS), which is equivalent to a Bachelor Thesis on a High School level in The Netherlands. Some of us would like to base their research on our journey to Ethiopia.

Below, you will find our motivation letters.

Aida:

I believe this program could be benificial to me in many ways. Firstly, one of the themes of the international conference in Mekele, ‘Archeology, paleoanthropology and heritage’, are great interests of mine. In fact, I am planning to study Archeology at university. Paleoantropology and heritage, being branches of archeology, I find equally fascinating.

In my stay there, I would, additional to the conference, want to attend an excavation nearby, or interview an archeologist to get tips and tricks that I could use in the coming years. I found that Shire, located in Northern Ethiopia, is quite popular thanks to its proximit location to the ancient capital of the Axumite Kingdom. Visiting nearby archeological museums could also help me enrich my knowledge.
Furthermore, I am interested in the theme ‘population and gender studies’ as I am planning to write my PWS on this subject. I am planning to follow the journey of a Moroccan scholar from the 14 th century who wrote about gender roles in different places, and want to compare them to the actual gender roles. This scholar, Ibn Battuta, had also traveled to and described the Horn of Africa.

A third theme that caught my eye is ‘Education and pedagogical sciences’. As most people live in rural areas, their education is not guaranteed. In my opinion, education is a great equalizer, for there is no sharper tool than an enlightened mind. Education unlocks doors, reveals paths you didn’t know existed, informs so you can act. People denied of this basic right are people robbed of what they could have been. They are cheated out of the most exhilarating freedom: the freedom to choose their own adventure and pursue their own happiness. For that reason, I believe education should be more accessible to Ethiopians, whether they live in rural or urban areas. I am very curious about how we can tackle this problem.

Paula:

The conference would be a perfect bridging between High School and my further education at the university. I want to study Human Geography and Planning, which investigates urban issues in the context of an ongoing worldwide trend of increasing urbanisation and tries to improve the quality of life all around the globe. It focuses on creating a sustainable social and economic urban development. This topic will be broadly discussed on the conference, also from different perspectives. Disciplines like Arts & Architecture, Economics & Development Studies, Human Geography, Environment & Ecology, will show different ways of looking at spacial planning and its relevance to Ethiopia.

Moreover, participating in the conference would help me with writing my PWS. Whilst studying I’d like to specialize in the field of infrastructure, and because it’s a part of spacial planning that I’m the most passionate about, I will focus on it in my PWS. I’d love to base my research on our journey to Ethiopia and focus on the history of development of infrastructure, its relevance, meaning and effects on Ethiopian economy. I’m particularly interested in the Ethiopian National Railway Network (ENRN), that happily has been given it’s ownabstract on the ICES20.

In my stay there, I’d like to see the already completed parts of the ENRN, collect enough material to attach to my PWS and possibly interview the locals. I’d ask about the importance of this project and what has it changed in the lives of Ethiopians. I’d love to visit one of the locations where the railway is now being extended and document the process of building. It’s really fascinating to see the construction work differences between Ethiopia and The Netherlands. If possible, I’d love to interview someone who is responsible for bringing the big plans into existence and see the process from another perspective.

Taibi:

ICES20 is a conference held in Mekelle, Ethiopia. Since I’ve come to The Netherlands I’ve met people from all different places and one of them is from Ethiopia. I’ve spent a lot of time talking with this person, and our motherlands have been mentioned quite often in our conversations. Even though our lands of origin are in different continents, we’ve realized how much there is in common. Both lands, were under a communist regime, that is still very visible to how people act now. The economical situation isn’t the best but people still seem happy about life and the corruption in both countries is at its peak. It would be a divine experience for me to learn about a country so similar to mine yet so different. For example I’d like to see how much of the communist mentality is still seen in people in comparison to Albania, I’d like to interview people to see what they think about their communist past and I’d just like to interview all kinds of people, poor or rich, young or old, girls or boys, to see how people think there and how life really is. In the future after I finish my technical bachelor or on the second year of it, my dream is to enroll on a bachelor on social studies and I think interviewing people would be an amazing experience for that.

Further, Ethiopia is known for its extraordinary nature and in Mekelle, or close to it at least are places like amazing lakes or volcanoes that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. So in the trip I’d also like to take a moment to get away from the chaos of the city and appreciate the nature. The conference has a lot of different themes and I’d like to be a part of all of them too.

Victoria:

The reason why I want to participate in the conference is because I am very interested in history and geography. Ever since childhood I have always been passionate about the other cultures, countries and continents. I would like to learn more about these themes in a country that has the unique mix of fascinating history and deep – rooted identity – Ethiopia. Furthermore, I want to extend my knowledge and get to know more about the cultural and social backgrounds of this country. Also, this congress will be an amazing opportunity for me as a student, to gather information for the practical part of the research project which I will be doing the next year. This conference is a solid step towards my future study as a historical. Not only am I eager to increase my understanding about the topics which I am interested in, but I also want to be a part of the conference and get involved with all the great work that people do.



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