Mastercard Foundation in partnership with the Hailemariam & Roman Foundation (HRF) has held an on-boarding session to kick-off the Youth Self-Employment in Southern Ethiopia Region (YES) Project, which is expected to reach out to over 32,000 unemployed young women, the disabled, IDPs, refugees and others. The session has been convened today the 13th of June 2024 at the Skylight Hotel, Addis Ababa. The session was attended by high-level officials of Mastercard Foundation, the Hailemariam & Roman Foundation and the joint “YES” project team.

The “YES” project will be implemented by the HRF in partnership with Mastercard Foundation in the pastoral Woredas of Hamer, Benna Tsemay and Salamago, and the semi-pastoral Woredas of Semen Ari and Debub Ari. The project also incorporates Jinka Town Administration. The project has a three-year life span and aims to reach out to 32,146 unemployed youth, of which 70% young women, 5% persons with disabilities, 10% young men, 15% IDPs, refugees & others.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Samuel Yalew, Country Director of Mastercard Foundation, said “we committed ourselves to new ways of doing things by disruption of conventional approaches”. He further added that every implementing partner staff of the project to selflessly commit themselves to achieve the ultimate goal of the project.

The Former First Lady of Ethiopia and CEO of the HRF, H.E. Mrs. Roman Tesfaye on her part said she is thrilled to see her passion and dedication to economically empower the unemployed and disadvantaged people on attaining opportunities to empower themselves and achieve sustainable and quality livelihood. She shared her prior experience as First Lady of Ethiopia by establishing initiatives working on economic empowerment of women and also its continuation since the inception of the HRF. Finally, Her Excellency pledged her personal and as institution, HRF’s determination to engage in the project implementation up to grassroot level to realize the successful implementation of the project.

Furthermore, Mastercard Foundation key staff conducted induction and orientation session focusing on the overall project management aspects to the project team of the Hailemariam & Roman Foundation.

Hailemariam & Roman Foundation
June 2024, Addis Ababa

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