An eloquent opening remark on May Forum

Sewit Haileselassie

AWiB’s Board President for the year of 2019

It was quite apparent how delighted Sewit was to be serving as AWiB’s Board President for the year of 2019. Recounting a fascinating story about a giant golden statue of Buddha in Thailand, currently worth twenty million dollars, though, apparently, sometime in the past, during an invasion, the people had decided to cover the gold statue in stucco and just forget about it. After years and years in oblivion, a traveler saw something sparkle under layers of mud and dirt, which is all it took to uncover this phenomenon of gold. Sewit was candid in her sharing of her experience in leadership, stating that she was at first a reluctant participant, but as time went by realized that leadership is not about fitting into a certain mold, it is about stepping out and fitting into our own ideals of leadership because WE are the leaders we have been waiting for.

“Awareness is the very beginning of transformation, and believe me when I tell you that there is gold to be uncovered there and AWiB is the place to be for that transformation.”

Sewit Haileselassie

You should know that as of Sewit’s board presidency, she had prioritized her focus on increasing young women’s membership by 10% especial that of fresh graduates, and is continuing her push to achieve this goal. In its aim to set an example and to reward for good work, thereby enabling the roots of sisterhood and mentorship to flourish, at AWiB’s 2019 May Forum alone, Sewit and her team were able to arrange for 100 college students to be sponsored by AWiB’s partners and different supporting institutes. In addition to this staggering attendance, 25 female scientist lecturers from all over Ethiopia and 30 cohorts of the Meri Mentorship program from Earuyan Solutions

In the midst of these exciting times, socially, economically and politically; Sewit was well-aware of the challenges we are faced with in when considering building her theme for this year’s May Forum. With the obvious gaps between where we stand and where we want to be as a nation, as a society and as individuals, especially as women, Sewit and her team wanted to present a forum that answered the questions of AWiBers and guests alike concerning the new frontier we are now faced with adapting to.

“Leadership is hard! It is no walk in the park. AWiB is a good friend, a stern teacher and a wonderful space for learning. She has given me a platform to augment my voice, an ability to recognize the wisdom within, my inner goddess as I like to call her, the time to get to know myself all over and over and over again and to articulate my stance with authenticity, integrity and confidence…..”

As Sewit closed up her speech for the AWiB’s 2019 May forum, she reminded the audience of what AWiB had done for her and for so many before her. Explaining how AWiB uses three pillars as its core techniques and methods of building confidence and birthing leaders. Sewit made sure to speak upon each one. In networking, she said, we learn that we exist in relation to others. We depend on the lives and experiences of everyone. Our platform is a place where we come together to connect, learn then grow together. There is nothing more essential to the development of women’s leadership. Here is where women have the opportunity to support other women, to learn and to grow together.

With dialogue, we carry out boot camp-style round-table-discussions, to plan, execute and resolve differences. With the current understanding that there is immense value in developing a culture of dialogue and reflection as a unique chance to gain perspective. AWiB is an opportune platform to recognize, understand and embrace differences, and in so doing, have a genuine chance to thrive. And last, but not least, with personal development, Sewit reminded the audience that the actual major transformation happens when the individuals makes the commitment to utilize many of AWiB’s self-development trainings and workshops, provided bi-weekly, to improve a range of skills. She asked the audience to consider being mentors to enable 360o learning.

“We look toward the immediate future, where more and more Ethiopian women have access to AWiB use her as their vehicle to leadership and self-transformation.” ~Sewit Haileselassie~

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