Ethiopian midwives have a unique position in the Ethiopian society as they act as change agents promoting SRHR and gender equality amongst adolescents. To adequality prepare them for this task, Health[e]Foundation, the Ethiopian Midwives Association (EMwA), and five collaborating Ethiopian universities introduced the SRHR[e]Education program to strengthen the universities’ SRHR curriculum and support the educational system. Funded by the Institutional Collaboration Projects Orange Knowledge Programme of Nuffic, we train 360 participants at 5 Ethiopian universities who, in turn, reach out to 7,200 adolescents. Saba Desta Tessema, lecturer at Debre Berhan University in Ethiopia, is one of the SRHR[e]Education graduates who successfully completed the e-learning course. We are grateful for her active participation and contribution to the program and pleased that she is willing to share her experiences.
This is Saba Desta Tessema from Ethiopia. For the past three years, I have been working as a lecturer at Debre Berhan University in Ethiopia. My work involves class lectures, laboratory demonstrations, and monitoring clinical attachments for obstetrics and gynecology courses given to midwifery students. Moreover, I participate in different researches and community services that are either prepared by the university or volunteers.
I wanted to take the SRHR[e]Education course in the hopes of strengthening my knowledge and updating myself. The training was beyond my expectation and very informative. As I am an educator, I feel responsible for widening my scope and enhancing my profession and that was exactly what the e-learning and workshops provided me.
The course added to my knowledge of family planning, gender-based violence, gender equality, women empowerment, and life skills. One activity that I am particularly proud of is that the life skill training helped me to educate young students in high school about life skills in the rural community. The course on how to approach adolescents was exciting for me because my line of work is involved in that age group, and it helped me improve communication with them. Entrepreneurship was a new concept for me, and I was excited to learn about it and apply it further in my life. The training also initiated me to plan a sensitization program for all senior graduating health students of Debre Berhan University which I am currently working on, and it includes gender-based violence and adolescent and youth health.
Overall, I am very grateful to have been involved in the program. I have gained a life’s worth of skills, experience, and knowledge and look forward to being engaged in your future projects.