Transforming Lives in Ethiopia, by Emmanuelle Clément

Emmanuelle Clement
I travelled to Ethiopia in November 2012 as part of my volunteering work with World Vision. I help this humanitarian organisation with planning and managing events and field trips to help build trust with their donors, empower them to see the difference their donations are making/could make and inspire and engage them in World Vision’s strategy.


I visited projects related to education, water, irrigation, food security, health and child protection with four donors and two members of staff. The welcome, gratitude and smiles from people, adults and children, was overwhelming and it made me see and further understand that World Vision implements projects involving communities (helping people to help themselves) and these transform people’s lives.

Photo by Jaco van Tol
Photo by Jaco van Tol

I was also impressed by the beauty of the country. The landscape of Ethiopia is dominated by the northern end of the East African Rift system and by central highlands of plateaus and mountains that rise from about 6,000 feet (2,000 metres) to more than 14,000 feet (4,300 metres). On the first day, I travelled 600 kilometers from Addis Ababa the capital, to Bahir Dar, situated in the north-west, on the edge of the beautiful Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile. On the islands of the lake there are some of the world’s oldest churches and monasteries which I visited with the group on the last day of the trip.

As a woman’s traveller, I enjoyed travelling with the group, the dynamics were great and I was accompanied by an incredibly professional World Vision Ethiopia team. The hotels I stayed in were good quality and good value and it was just a matter of adapting to life in Africa, which I had experience of, especially on visits on the ground.

Widow in Spice Shop, EthiopiaMany of Ethiopian widows make a living through running their own business.  This lady runs a spice shop in order to be able to send her children to school thanks to a community scheme.

Emmanuelle Clément is a Portfolio Professional in the charity sector, event management, business travel and tourism.  She is working with promoting female focused hospitality training to hotels.

Are you heading off to Ethiopia on a business trip?  Register, log your travel dates and network with other female business travellers on


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