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“Young people should lead their own lives” - Abdella's story

Abdella Dema grew up in a rural village in Oromia region. After leaving school with few qualifications, he stood little chance of gaining decent work. Yet today the 22-year-old is a skilled carpenter, living and working in Negelle Arsi town. Abdella reflects on how the EYW project helped him to turn his life around.

“When I was unemployed, I was confused about my future and spent my time just wandering in the village. Then the EYW project registered all the unemployed youth for the opportunity to do vocational training. I chose to study woodworking, and they offered me the chance to be an apprentice in a furniture workshop. The owner welcomed me enthusiastically, and at the end of the apprenticeship he asked me to work with him.” 

Gaining skills and confidence 

It’s now over two years since Abdella joined the workshop. He enjoys the job, and is constantly striving to improve his skills by watching and learning from others. He explains, “I make various different kinds of furniture by myself, but there are other more complicated activities that I still have to learn. These include the design stage, so I’m trying to develop my drawing skills.” 

When Abdella started at the furniture workshop, he earned 2,000 Birr. Now he earns twice or sometimes even three times that amount, depending on the workload. He is very proud of his personal and professional development: “I moved away from my home village to Negelle Arsi town. I can manage my life without my parents’ support. I earn enough to meet all my needs. I am furnishing my home with essential things, while continually developing my skills.” 

Looking to the future 

Abdella also has big ambitions. “In future, I want to set up my own firm and provide employment opportunities for young people in my community. To achieve my dream, I need cash to buy equipment.” Currently he is saving a money in a bank and an Ikub (a traditional community savings group). Abdella has this message for other young people: 

“Young people should get involved in work activities rather than just being inactive. They shouldn’t worry about what others say about them. They should lead their own lives.”

To learn more about the vocational trainings in Ethiopia, Click Here