The second version of the project dubbed, “WE AfriHug 2019” officially began on the 18th of February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Kicking off the project in East Africa, the project team comprised of Konstantinos Maragkos, Lina Mkoji and Marilena Maragkou met with Ethiopian co-organisers from Youth To Youth and the Inspired Ethiopian Youth Association (IEYA), two youth NGOs based in Addis Ababa, to formally introduce themselves and to finalise details of the 5-day training seminar. Present in this preparatory meeting were Kalewongel Tesfaye, the founder of Youth To Youth; team members Melaku Hailu and Salem Gabremariam; Liyuneh Tamirat, the founder of IEYA.

The training seminar, held at the Lancha area in Addis Ababa, attracted 42 participants. In line with the project objectives, the 5-day seminar included an introduction about Erasmus+ programmes for students and youth workers under KA1 and KA2 respectively. The enthusiastic participants also got first-hand information from Project Management expert, Marilena, about the use of Erasmus+ platforms such as ECAS and the Distance Calculator in order to get familiarised with them. What’s more, they were taken through the four stages of project management and introduced to tools such as SWOT analysis, the Canva Business Model and NAOMIE. Emphasis was put on the choice of partners as well as the relevance, quality and sustainability criteria of projects. Soft skills such as time management, pitching, communication and presentation skills were also highlighted using various activities throughout the training.

To practically use the knowledge imparted during the training, the participants were divided into groups for project simulation. On the last day, each team pitched their project and received useful feedback from the WE AfriHug project team. Moreover, the participants were treated to a taste of the “Live Library” where Konstantinos and Lina shared their experiences in an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree programme. To mark the end of the training, participants were asked to reflect on their most important take-aways and awarded with certificates.