On an occasion that rarely ever takes place, more than eight different German-based organizations, all residing in Ethiopia, met over a banquet extended to the visiting German Parliamentary Friendship Group on May 16, 2016. Hosted by GIZ, an overseas development arm of Germany, the German embassy in Ethiopia organized and invited DSW and others to get together and hold discussions with Parliamentarians responsible for Eastern Africa Region’s desk at Germany’s Parliament.
After the introductory discourses were set forth both by an official from the German embassy and a representative from GIZ, each delegate had an opportunity to view the exhibited materials brought by each of all the invited organizations. DSW presented a selection of materials, including best practice documents from our projects in Ethiopia. Although our youth programme intervention drew more attention in the discussion, the PHE project in Bonga, and our Packard project on married adolescent girls also enjoyed their fair share of attraction from the curious Parliamentarians.
The fact that DSW has been able to mobilize millions of young people in Ethiopia and help them aspire for health-seeking behaviors using the tailor-made youth programme, better known as the Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Initiative, quite impressed the visiting Parliamentarians. All the more, the various strategic components with which DSW empowers young people in life skills that eventually enable them become change champions themselves in the grassroots community, spelled out to the Parliamentarians the intricacies of the Y2Y Initiative works.
On the other hand, the integration of livelihood activities with the family planning service provision that supports married adolescent girls, was discussed at length with three members of the Parliamentary Group.
These members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group who came to Ethiopia on an official capacity are scheduled to stay from 15 – 19 May 2016 and also hold a series of high profile meetings with the Government of Ethiopia.