In October 2013, the first twelve Ethiopian women commenced nursing studies. These women were selected based on a careful vetting process. The women were accepted into four nursing schools solely based on their high school transcript: Asaf Harofe, Barzilai, Meir and Hillel Yaffa Hospitals .
JobKatif-Achotenu convinced the nursing schools to take advantage of a rarely implemented government policy to admit a limited number of students without the requisite psychometric exam.
Achotenu created a range of supportive services to ensure their success: lessons in strategic learning skills, tutorials, a personal mentor and ongoing academic and emotional support from the program director. In addition, students received tuition and living subsidies, enabling them to concentrate on their schoolwork without facing financial stress.
Ten students are graduating Spring 2016 as registered nurses and have submitted applications to Israeli hospitals. Two of the students were summa cum laude. These women are inspiring other young Ethiopians to follow in their footsteps.
The results of the pilot program have been so encouraging that JobKatif-Achotenu is expanding the program with other partners. Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA) and Hebrew University of Jerusalem are working together with JobKatif-Achotenu and launching a five-year academic nursing program in the 2016-2017 academic year.