Incorporating micro-lending Programs with Environmentally Sensitive Training and Internship Programs for the Queen Sheba Vocational School in Adwa, Regional State of Tigray,  Ethiopia: A Tentative Proposal

Introduction

The proposal is about the metal and wood work vocational training program housed at the Queen Sheba Vocational School located in Adwa, Tigray, Ethiopia. The wood and metal work department of the Queen Sheba Vocational School was financed and constructed in 2005 by Professor Desta Asayehgn, where he was once a student. The underling vision of the metal and wood work department is to act as the transferor of academic, vocational skills and internship so vital to productive employment to the trainees.  More specifically, the wood and metal departments of the Queen Sheba vocational school envisions to contribute significantly to the threshold educational and training necessary to develop a viable human resources capacity that is fundamental to the economic revitalization of Ethiopia. To achieve these endeavors, the proposal focuses on the need of getting micro financial services to those graduates of the vocational school to get started on their own on environmentally sensitive projects.   

 

Rationale:  The key of the Queen Sheba Vocational School strategy is to increase human resources capacity by integrating academic with vocational training programs. In addition to skills development, internship, job placement, job creation and support to entrepreneurial ship are the critical elements of the wood and metal work department of the Queen Sheba vocational School. Thus, social and private entrepreneurship are the driving force behind the metal and wood work department of the Queen Sheba Vocational School. Nonetheless though the vocational trainees have the energy, creativity and relevant skills many cannot find jobs after the graduate. Due to financial and the lack of the state of the art business training  difficulties, the vocational wood and metal work institute has not been able to introduce its trainees while in school to important role models, provide access to private entrepreneurs and financial agents in order to sustain placement opportunities.

In addition, the vocational institute has not been able to help the learners combine entrepreneurial skills with business planning efforts.  The critical aim of the proposed plan is to train the teachers of the vocational school to master the development of designing the state of the art business plans so that their trainees could put into action what they have learned in their classes and further establish professional connections to secure long-term job. Thus, through microfinance loans the proposed plan envisions to bridge the training at the Queen Sheba Vocational School with productive and stimulating employment which might achieve long-term environmentally sustainable development.

Objective of the Proposed Plan:

The proposed programs intend to help the vocational teachers of the metal and work department of Queen Sheba School to:

1)      get the necessary training in the state of the art of designing business plans to the

trainees so that they could be involved from the beginning to acquire employment training in their areas of preparation.

2)      give the trainees the opportunity to hone their craft by placing each trainee in an apprenticeship program.

3)       participate in developing and presenting project proposal seeking start-up funds or microcredit  to support the learners’ business initiatives.

4)      help the graduates of the vocational school initiate the establishment of new business or micro-enterprises through micro credit financial programs. 

5)      Strengthen existing micro-business enterprises in the community so that graduate trainees could find employment that eventually earn them a sufficient living to feed their family.

6)      Actively research the possibility of providing microloans to the poorest graduates of the program

7)      produce opportunities for productive, stable and rewarding  work for the graduated skilled worker force,; and

8)      Strengthen existing micro-business enterprises in the community so that graduate trainees could find productive employment.

   The objectives of the proposed programs for the vocational trainees include:

1)      acquiring knowledge and skills needed for employment through service- learning;

2)      Initiating the establishment of new business plan for micro-enterprises through micro credit financial programs. 

3)      Ensuing that the graduates find and seize opportunities for productive work, and lead lives in which creativity, initiative, and hard work are rewarded.

4)      Participating in developing and presenting project proposal seeking start-up funds to support their business initiative through microloans.

Project Implementation

To fully operate the integration of the vocational training program at the Queen Sheba Vocational School with microfinance ventures, the school-based proposal navigates through the following strategies:

1)      Use two faculty members from Dominican University, two Queen Sheba School Alumni, and one practically-oriented administrator from Adwa, Tigrai, Ethiopia to provide intensive educational programs so essential for the establishment of innovative tools of integrating microfinance with vocational training to at least ten teachers of the Queen Sheba vocational School.

2)      Identify the twenty talented graduates and give them specialized training how to prepare business plans to secure microloans to have the largest impact possible to track the success of the proposed program.

3)      Develop the infrastructure (internship, job placement, and microfinance office) needed for the operation of the program.

4)      Establish a board of directors from the local community, regional government, private sector, and international donor community.

5)      Train and supervise local researchers to monitor and evaluate the program in order to track the success of the proposed program.

Thank you for reading the tentative proposal. The Alumni of Queen Sheba School and other philanthropists who might be interested in the project are well come to send their comments and suggestions to Professor Desta at destaa@prodigy.net