Students Helping Change Livelihoods
A group of ICS high school students organized a business workshop for young people from the CCC Children’s Cross Connection, Ethiopia (CCC) Children’s village based in Wolaita Soddo, and Sele Enat Orphanage. The HS students who take an business course as part of their IB Diploma Program shared the knowledge and experience from their course. Mr. Nathan Haines, a HS teacher who supervised the activity explains the objective of the workshop, “Many of the groups who grew up in an orphanage find it really hard to find a job due to high rates of unemployment or because of the lack of important socio-economic connections. Thus, our students organized the workshop to give them the ideas and tools to start their own businesses.”
The Business Workshop which had only 20 youths from the CCC last year has grown to accommodate 35 young Ethiopians from the CCC and 10 from Sele Enat Orphanage, based in Addis Ababa. The Business Workshop has had an impact. According to Sophie and Madot, two of the students who organized the workshop, several of the businesses, which last year’s workshop participants started, are successful, and the young people are earning a sustainable income.”
The Business Workshop is part of the ICS service learning program, a program in which students identify problems within the local communities and come up with solutions. Besides the benefits of the workshop to the participants, our students agree they benefit significantly from the project. Sophie explains, “We have developed important planning and collaboration skills. Also, since we were facilitating the project, we have developed organizational skills translating what we learned in our business course into practice.” Mr. Haines agrees, “The workshop gave the students an opportunity to plan something that can really make an impact. It offered them an authentic learning experience helping them connect with young Ethiopians and share their knowledge in authentic ways.”
The students organized the two-day workshop on 3-4 March 2019 to the 45 participants who were between 18-25 years old. They covered areas including: design thinking model of innovative thinking, the 4Ps of marketing a product, steps to starting a small business and basics of finance related to small businesses.