Appreciation Event!

The Social Innovation Mentoring program (SIM) aimed to reach 800 high school students in the year of 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. But our Mentors managed to reach out to so much more women in different age groups in the past 7 months due to their own personal motivation for participating in the program set up by the Center for Creative Leadership ( ). The SIM girls have been volunteering in several Peace Corps Summer Camps and traveled to 5 different regions within Ethiopia to be big sisters, translators, activity facilitators and mentors for high school students – who never been to the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Abeba.

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The same SIM Mentors got the privilege to volunteer for Ethiopian Senior Citizens, a local NGO in Addis Ababa (, where they designed a new specially need-based public shower and restrooms for elders, age 60 and above. It will be a sustainable income generator for elder women in the sub-city of Lideta, Addis Abeba, who do not have the fund to pay for a professional one as soon as it’s build. Through this design they were able to step up for the elders in their society and provide a solution for those elders who are poor and disabled. To have a place to get affordable public service to clean themselves is not common in Ethiopia.
To cherish their personal success as well as sharing their stories with the public we organized an SIM Appreciation Event, which was held at iceAddis, on EiABC campus of the Addis Ababa University on September 29th 2012. The investment that has been made through CCL itself, the Leading Beyond Boundaries Initiative ( ) and the Marrow Fund towards the Social Innovation Mentors got praised as well for all the difference it caused for the 26 participating girls studying on that campus. Beyond that we wanted to show family members and friends what we’ve been done in the past months and thank everybody – especially our weekly guest speakers – who contributed time, experience, connections and ideas to our program. We have had a wonderful time with our invitees on that sunny Saturday in Addis and we hope to continue our work with our family & friends, guests & contacts from local and international NGOs as well as from various other organizations who have been supporting our Mentors. We’ve tried a different approach this time to promote and support our solely female mentors during our appreciation event, we divided our presentations in four different stations to talk about the work we’ve done so far and guided our invitees from one station to the next, where we introduced volunteerism as a means to come up with and share innovative solutions to our own society, showed our products, shared our training with the guests through first hand experience, talked about chances provided by the Lunch & Learn program and shared our experience from trips and events. The SIM girls showed an outstanding performance to challenge their environment through their unique experiences and proved that you can be who you want to be as a young women in Ethiopia. Now, they will continue to unlock their own potential and share it with the rest of the world.

A word from the Centre for Creative Leadership |Leadership Beyond Boundaries| Regional Director in Africa: Steadman Harrison

“Shocking.  That was the word that came to mind.  AS our Regional Director in Africa, the team kept me posted – I knew about Lunch & Learns, field trips, growing volunteerism – but all of the daily accomplishments had passed me by and really added up!  Tsion was good to organize an Appreciation Event at the iceaddis Hub (  We had about 70 people join the 26 women who have all committed countless hours to the Marrow Foundation funded Social Innovation Mentors program. We wanted leaders who could hep develop more leaders.  We never imagined that their creative outreach would touch the lives of thousands!

It wasn’t until this past Saturday that I began to more fully appreciate what this movement was accomplishing.  I heard a Peace Corps representative explain how our girl’s impacted hundreds of students through their Peace Corps summer camps in 5 regions of Ethiopia.  One gentleman from the Ethiopian Senior Citizen Association explained how these women were improving the livelihoods and public health of local citizens by designing public bathrooms and shower facilities for the elderly and disabled.  The model provided jobs for those cleaning and caring for the facilities through the low cost usage fees.  The women testified to the life-transforming trips they have taken to conflict zones like Gambella.  These women are all volunteers in a society where volunteerism is unheard of… teaching in orphanages, leading clubs in schools, donating time to local institutions, and innovating around projects to improve the city where they live.

We invite you to dream with us.  What if hundreds more Ethiopian women had the access to mentoring, training, and leadership development that is generating these outcomes through affordable, accessible, and scalable solutions.  Be a part of a movement and find ways to help us at”


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