August 2020: Äthiopien / Lalibela: Nigste delemma

The dilemma of higher education and unemployment

 Nigste is the name of a 21 year young woman. She is the younger sister of Getachew Sale, one of our very successful food science students in Addis Ababa. She finished 12th grade but was not admitted to a state university. Nigste therefore wanted to attend a private university or do vocational training.

In the past, PBF has made it possible for hundreds of students at various levels of education to study. However, it has become increasingly clear that most of these students have no or only very limited career prospects. There are many reasons for this – worldwide. Despite outstanding individual successes, some things seem to be a waste of resources and time from today’s perspective. In fact, we have very well-trained specialists who teach and research at universities or in highly specialized institutes, but unfortunately many others with good diplomas and degrees who have remained unemployed at home or in the cities and with no hope of a job.

For this reason, we have been trying for several years to meet our responsibility in the academic education system in an innovative way. Our on-site team, Mesay and Sisay, have today – and for years – the responsibility of guiding schoolchildren in Lalibela, accompanying and advising them in order to find realistic opportunities and career prospects together.

That also applies to the young woman mentioned at the beginning, Nigste. She recently decided to open a small kiosk, which in her neighborhood in Lalibela offers a lot for daily needs. The offer is still far too small …. Her  earnings are on average just 2 dollars a day.

This way she can support her younger sister who is still in school. Her brother Getachew also lives in her extremely simple accommodation during the holidays. Her parents live very far away in the country. All educational and employment opportunities are missing there.

Although Nigste would rather and more successfully run her small business on a busy street where there would be more customers, she is satisfied with the current possibilities. PBF wishes her staying power …