The 2022 EGST MADevS Practicum field work took place from Nov.22-26, 2022 in Hawassa and Yiregalem in Sidama Regional State and Dilla and Yirgachafe in Gedeo Zonal Administration.
Focused on three thematic areas, the field work was conducted with ten host organizations, nine students and four faculty and staff at major community sites and various institutions.
Students in the first sub theme examined the role of the Self-Help Group approach to women empowerment (SHG) in Hawassa, a fistula medical and rehabilitation center and Yirgalem hospital health services. The students gained firsthand experience, while observing and having discussions on health and gender issues in an institutional setting at Yirgalem Hospital and Fistula Services.
The second thematic area focused on the roles of the local church in Sustainable Development. Students met Hawassa Evangelical Church Leaders and discussed holistic development issues. They also visited three local congregations in Hawassa; Haik Dar KHC, Bethel Mekane Yesus Evangelical Congregation, and Antsokia Heywet Brehan . Through their field visit to local churches and holistic development case study churches, the students realized the nexus between faith and development on the ground.
The third group worked on Agriculture Led Industrialization with a visit to Yiregalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park and its Community Link. The team made a rural integrated agro-forestry site in Yirgachafe. Students also visited Dilla College of Teachers’ Education Community Services, a partner college of EGST in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
Reflecting on their time at EGST and on their future career development, students shared their challenges and future prospects. They expressed that the field practicum was both challenging while also the best practice event in their personal and academic life.
Earlier to the five days of group field work, students were assigned to different host institutions and communities for a semester and made an action research and intervention. The outcomes of their engagement with the host institutions facilitated by a personal mentor were produced as an academic report and will be presented to a seminar together with the group field report.