IMG_0425A team of four DSW’s Board members, including one of its two founders, Mr. Dirk Rossmann along with other three associates led by Renate Baehr, Executive Director of DSW made a four-day long excursion from 17 to 21 October 2015 touring around DSW’s projects in Ethiopia. This rare occasion has already heightened its relevance as the 10th Year Anniversary of DSW / Bonita Youth Development Training Center took event on 17 October 2015 in Debrezeit (Bishoftu), 45 km southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa.

The half-day event that commemorates the anniversary of the training center gave more than its share of the occasion as it drew the visiting Board members’ attention very close to the various selected activities hosted by leaders of the Y2Y clubs who got there from many parts of the country for the occasion. Best practices exhibited in make-shift structures orderly erected within the compound of the center while some circus shows performed by talented members of the youth clubs for the curious on-lookers, including Board members, invited government officials, representatives of NGOs and media organizations. The activities rehearsed in front of the Board members of DSW impressively feature the efforts and ability of young people who are being mentored by the Y2Y Initiative can take the lead in their community and bring about sexual and reproductive health-seeking behaviors among themselves and those of their peers.

In the last stint of the half-day event that would subsequently see off the first day study tours, the National Annual Youth Award program was entertained. Nine best performing youth clubs were presented with award certificates by the Board members. The impression with which the Board members being left at the end of the first day event must have boosted their enthusiasm to get into more project sites seeing and the next three days proved exactly that. Four projects sites whose locations being far apart in between scheduled to be toured in three days. As their enthusiasm grew by each tour and event, the Board members shuttled a combination of all in round trips that extend about 480 km.

Before the final leg of their study tours kicked in, DSW’s Board members have visited the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis where they could make a sense of all how DSW’s projects stretch all the ways from grassroots level to disseminate information about sexual and reproductive health issues via the Y2Y Initiative to facilitate accession of services through a referral link. On 21 October, with the memory of the past three days’ study tours still vivid, the Executive Director of DSW, Renate Baehr has given a brief account of the whole events in front of the Board members and staff members of DSW Ethiopia at the country office. Shortly after, a coffee ceremony over which discussion continued once again the atmosphere motivates among Board members to voice about what the experience has been like to being part of the study tours in the past days.

“I am responsible for the financial aspect of duties at the Board level and have always paid attention to how budgets being spent vis-à-vis the achieved plans. I keenly observed that DSW’s budgets kept growing through time and that was where my curiosity building up and made me get here to see what is going on. I have now found out where those budgets worth their values to be expended on such important projects,” noted Mr. Elmar Bingel, Board chairperson of DSW.