IE Professor Gayle Allard and current IMBA students Benedict Faber, Daisuke Suzaki, Gerardo Lara Mendoza, Gul Nihan Siriklioglu, Santiago Martelli and Carolina Schildknecht De Rivas spent two weeks in the town of Dilla, in southern Ethiopia, volunteering as organizers and teachers in an English camp for the children of the village as part of the Salesian mission there.
The Salesian nuns were thrilled with the enthusiasm and hard work of the group of volunteers, which they called the “United Nations” since everyone came from a different country (Germany, Japan, Venezuela, Turkey, Argentina, El Salvador and the United States).
For all of them it was an eye-opening experience as they explored the social problems of the village (hunger and malnutrition, disease, inadequate water supply) in a research project for the elective course “Doing Well by Doing Good in Africa”, which is to be offered this period. But despite the abject poverty which they observed, the children they worked with showed a surprising joy and an irrepressible energy.
“We came away with a deep appreciation for the Ethiopian people and for the workers who devote their lives to alleviating poverty there.”