Girls’ voices inspire and inform everything we do. We hear from 16-year-old Bezawit in Ethiopia – a student who was inspired to pursue her dreams after watching the Yegna TV show.

My name is Bezawit. I’m 16 years old and currently attending high school. Watching my favourite characters in Yegna contemplate their future aspirations made me think of my career, which helped me navigate my options early.

For instance, Hana wanted to be an engineer to please her parents. However, her teacher, Miss Hiwot, enabled her to assess her desire deeper and consider other options dearer to her heart, such as singing. She even took her to meet professionals already engaged in her preferred line of work. Those scenes taught me the need to explore different options before making a decision.

A scene from the Yegna TV school, Hana - second to the left

“[Yegna] taught me that if I work hard…I can become successful”

I always wished to be a psychiatrist, but people in my surrounding cautioned me against it. They said it wouldn’t help me make much money. Their advice made me second guess my decision because I needed to make enough money to support my family.

Watching Hana’s story made me realise I should prioritise my inherent desire. It also taught me that if I work hard and achieve excellence in whatever field I’m engaged in, I can become successful and earn a sufficient income.

I wish to be a psychiatrist so that I can help youth in Ethiopia who struggle with addiction. I have some friends that are addicted to alcohol, drugs and other substances. Their situation saddens me because I know their addiction takes away from their productivity at school and work in the future. They waste their potential and are unable to contribute to the development of the country.

I also want to help young girls under the age of 18 because they are living through what is known as the ‘fire age’, which drives girls to make impulsive decisions. This is a critical age for girls, and I want to help them gain awareness and be equipped to make the right choices. I understand their struggle and their needs better since I’m experiencing similar circumstances as one of them.

Bezawit leads a discussion with girls in Ethiopia

In the spirit of navigating my career early, I created the “Enist initiative”, a female-led group. My best friend and I provide training to girls under 18 on topics such as the challenges faced by youth, gaining self-esteem, Menstrual Hygiene Management, overcoming addiction and other related issues.

We collaborated with a local NGO known as Amanuel Baptist to connect with potential trainees and obtained space to facilitate the training. We also created a telegram group and added the women and girls we know to discuss female related issues, create awareness about the “Enist initiative” program and possibly get the word out and recruit new trainees.

The trainees have provided us with outstanding feedback so far, which makes me believe that I’m on a good path to start my career.