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Latest Community News > Ethiopian National Project (ENP) Informational Conference for Ethiopian Community Activists

Ethiopian National Project (ENP) Informational Conference for Ethiopian Community Activists

The IAEJ organized and implemented a conference to ensure that local Ethiopian activists throughout Israel are fully informed and able to participate in the planning and implementation of the ENP. The conference was a good example of IAEJ teamwork, as National Project Coordinator Elishevah Darar, and IAEJ Community Empowerment unit fieldworkers worked together to organize the event, and ensure activist participation. IAEJ's strategic Unit organized and provided informational materials for the event as well.

Over 95 participants gathered to receive information, learn the history of the ENP, and receive updates on the project's progress. ENP Director Negiste Mengeshe, Ethiopian National Representatives Chairperson Avraham Neguse, the remaining Ethiopian Representatives, and Ethiopian activists from all over Israel including from the six ENP pilot cities were all on hand. IAEJ Director and Representatives Deputy Chairperson Shula Mola provided an overview of the major events in the project's conception, planning and implementation to date.

Over the course of the subsequent two days, varied discussions focused on the nature of the ENP, the obstacles it faces, potential solutions, and future directions and programming possibilities. A primary issue at hand was how to include as large a proportion of the Ethiopian population as possible, in the project. Local activists were able to provide perspective based on their experiences, and to communicate with one another and ENP governing bodies and officials. Presentations such as that by Carlos Steiglitz from SHATIL provided guidance on organizational tools and effective coalition work. Additional discussions on education and employment problems within the Ethiopian community also ensued.

In conclusion, a decision was made for the local communities to create their own representational bodies to the ENP before the end of July 2003. This type of organization, and coordination between the Ethiopian Representatives and local activists, will help ensure the project's successful implementation in September 2003.

Overall, the conference was a resounding success, and IAEJ is planning future gatherings to keep activists informed and involved in the work of the Ethiopian national Representatives, and the Ethiopian National Project.

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