“Self-defence training enabled me to show full hearted respect and love to my parents and the people I meet. Because of this behavioural change, in my house, my siblings started to follow me as their role model,” says Eyerusalem.
23.04.2014 | HIBIR and Tigist Getahun
Eyerusalem Merga, aged 18, attends eleventh grade at Addis Ketema Secondary School in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The school is one of eight schools that Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) partner organisation, Hibir Capacity Development and Self-Defence organisation, has been working with to reduce mistreatments against female students. This is done by providing training for male and female students on life-skills and gender and also by training young women in taekwondo.
“Life skill and gender training helped students to be responsible to disseminate information on mistreatments to their peers and reduce the practice of violence by male students” Hunachew, Hibir’s Programme Officer explains. Hibir has since its establishment in 2008 been providing training to young women in self-defence to enable them to defend themselves from attacks and mistreatment.
Eyerusalem was one of 105 female students that attended the training on gender, life-skill and self-defence in 2013.
“Self-defence training teaches the principles of possibilities, stamina and flexibility. The theoretical principles of taekwondo transmit value and discipline towards love, respect and trust”, Eyerusalem explains.
“Eyerusalem was active and interested in the self-defence training” Hunachew says. “The practical self-defence training helped me to become physically strong, flexible and able to defend myself from any probable harassment and abuse that I might face. Because of the skill I got out of the practical training, I was able to teach my peers about the importance of self-confidence, and to practice assertive behaviour whenever needed. Personally, I’m positively changed compared to before receiving this training”, Eyerusalem concludes.