Without technology we would have been fallen Apart

Erena Bayessa
Posted April 24, 2019 from Ethiopia

Negem Lela Ken New (NLK) is a vibrant, agile and life changing indigenous, not for profit and nongovernmental association. It was established in 2005 by 5 women living with HIV and AIDS with the goal of contributing towards the fight against the spread of virus as well as to mobilize urgent actions in response to extreme stigma and taboos against women living with HIV in Ethiopia.

In doing so Currently NLK operates through a National Secretariat in Addis Ababa and has three regional offices managed by well- articulated constitution which governs most of the organization operations. The organization has 19 qualified employees, more than 1200 members, associate members and 2200 volunteers of which 90% are women.  Today, the organization mission has broadened and able to create “safe spaces” where women, and girls come together to gain confidence, agency, and skills to be able to analyze and strategize to advance their rights and improve their own wellbeing. The safe spaces give them the confidence to collectively fight violence stigma and taboos related to HIV and AIDS.

The organization has currently working in Promotion and support of digital skills, income generating activities for women and girls who are affected by  HIV/AIDS, vulnerable and poor women, girls and their immediate families; through building skills,  increasing awareness raising on violence against women and girls and its connection to HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STI), family planning and sexual and reproductive health  and rights (SRHR); Organizing and providing tools for vulnerable women and girls to enable them to participate in relevant Regional, National and International Networks; so as to build vertical and horizontal linkages across sectors, issue silos, and locations including movements, and formal and informal institutions; Promoting women’s leadership in the local community so that they are able to take care of themselves and that of their communities. Our training opportunities include sewing, embroidery, and hairdressing as well as computer technology. Each training sessions are three months, provided five days a week.  Twenty-five trainees are admitted into each secession and are required to complete 240 hours of training before completion. Upon completion of the training, students are linked with local business (networking will be facilitated by NLK). 

Under the generous Fund by the Stephen Lewis and Blue Lupin Foundations based in Toronto,  Canada, NLK designed and constructed building for community Library, hubs and safe spaces” where girls, women , girls and children particulary who affected by HIV and AIDS in community come together to gain confidence, knowledge and skills to improves their lives, families and their community.  As the first community building of its kind for community services, we are providing for girls , women, children and other youths amongothers,essential access to education, skills, information, books and income. Resources to improve the economic and psychosocial wellbeing of girls and women particularly who affected by HIV/AIDS and or affected by the virus.  NLK established center for Community library, vocational and skill trainings for girls, children, women, who have been isolated from their communities due to stigma, to provide the necessary support needed to ensure they are successful within their business as well as their personal lives. There are various vocational and skill training (VST) programs operates from the center for target girls, women, children and other youth of the community. These include embroidery works, hair dressing, basic computer skill, weaving and macrame(artisan). The VST programs aim to reduce vulnerability and promote resiliency by providing them with opportunities improve their skills,  education, health, safety and incomes. 

Acquisition of technology is not easy in africa, it is costly, not accessable and unreliable  whereas the western donors expect access able and reliable technology /internet in Africa or Ethiopia . we need the understanding of western donors towards development of improved, reliable and access able  technology in our community. My deep appreciation and gratitude for all of those avatar invented  technology without them our planet would have been fallen apart today. Nothing would have been easy for human being without technology . 

This story was submitted in response to Girls in ICT Day.

Comments 8

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Jill Langhus
Apr 25
Apr 25

Hi Erena,

How are you doing? Thanks for sharing your wonderfully, inspirational story about your center, work and mission. I'm glad to hear your work is expanding and thriving. Much continued success to you! And, please feel free to let all your students know about World Pulse so that they too can share their own, personal success stories. We would love to see them in the community!

Erena Bayessa
May 08
May 08

Than you all for your constructive comments and important feedback. Your comments are incredibly inspiring and driving force for us to move forward to reduce inequities in information services within the grass roots community by providing basic information technology required to deliver basic service in an ‘information age; and contribute to the effort of formal and lifelong education, economic development and improved quality of life among the grass roots communities, particularly for children, girls and women
we designed and constructed a community resource centre to transform the lives of children, women and girls by providing essential access to education, information technology, books and services that were otherwise not available to them. The centre is in enormous contribution to formal education and community access to information. The centre is serving as an information gateway, supporting hundreds of preschool children, youth , women and girls and community members to understand their environment better, to acquire new skills and to make more informed decisions about their lives.

Jill Langhus
May 09
May 09

You're very welcome!

Aw. I'm so glad to hear that:-) Thank you!

Your center sounds wonderful. What an awesome contribution you have created for all of them, and for future generations as well.

Wishing you much more continued success and blessings to further your continued good work, impact and new developments.

Fanka
Apr 26
Apr 26

Hello Erena,
Thanks you for sharing the wonderful work your centre is doing. Its inspiring. Hope to hear more from you.

SIMON MUREU
Apr 27
Apr 27

Y our account is very truthful and we still have to pay for internet even for this cmment

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Dear Erena,
How are you doing. Thank you for sharing your post and the work that your center is doing. Looking forward to many more of your stories and more of your students joining world pulse.
Have a great day

Hello, Erena,

You made a striking last sentence: Nothing would have been easy for human being without technology . I feel you with regards to access of internet connection. It is also expensive and quite slow here in the Philippines. I applaud you for doing all you can to deliver what is expected of you even with limited resources. Imagine if you had more? Wow, you'll be more productive and unstoppable! Thank you for sharing.

Erena Bayessa
May 08
May 08

Yes, Thank you so much!