The U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa opened its American Spaces for young Ethiopian leaders this summer to volunteer their time and expertise to others in their communities.
The program builds on other initiatives where the United States is investing in the capacity of Ethiopians to achieve constructive change in their country.
More than 50 young Ethiopians answered the call for volunteers, offering free programs to more than 500 participants. Topics included life skills, environment, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), and more. Programs were held at American Spaces in Bahir Dar Jimma, Dire Dawa, and Addis Ababa during the school break.
Embassy spokesperson Nick Barnett said, “Our American Spaces have always been about community – providing free space for young people to engage with us. In light of the recent positive changes in Ethiopia, it’s more important than ever for Ethiopians to be involved in their communities and we saw this as a way to invest our resources in support of that effort.”
Embassy Cultural Affairs Officer Li Ping Lo added, “Volunteerism and community service are a core part of our democratic values. Through this program we hope to encourage a sense of public responsibility, which will be so important to ensuring a bright future for Ethiopia.”
Through the program, volunteers were able to share their expertise and experience in a variety of backgrounds including psychology, sociology, business, and communications, and other essential life skills.
Others shared skills in areas like art and photography, English language conversation, C++, 3D Design and printing, and architecture.
At a closing ceremony for the program, the Embassy awarded certificates of recognition to the volunteers for their efforts.