Ruth Seifu Mola

2024 IVLP Impact Award Project: Capacitating the Community to Engage in Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response Through Providing Safe Shelter to GBV SurvivorsEthiopia

Ruth Seifu is the head of the field unit in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Aysaita. She previously worked with UNHCR in protection, registration, and resettlement roles in different parts of the country. She has been engaged in emergency responses in IDP, refugee, and mixed migrations. Ruth has worked on durable solutions, social cohesion activity planning, implementations, and advocacy for migrants to lead a better life. She has served her community by engaging in voluntary work connected to community mobilization, capacity building, peacebuilding, good governance, and democracy in different parts of the country.

She is a fellow of the Ethiopian Christian Lawyer’s Fellowship and Advocates African. She has an educational background in protection, diplomacy, advocacy, disaster preparedness and emergency management, planning and international human rights law, political science and international relations, management, and leadership respectively. She was selected as an Ethiopian Generation Change Fellow by the United States Institute of Peace in 2020.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Capacitating the Community to Engage in Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response Through Providing Safe Shelter to GBV Survivors 

The project combats gender-based violence and promotes gender equality within refugee and host communities by engaging community members as volunteers in prevention and response stages during emergencies. The project addresses the multifaceted challenges associated with gender-based violence during emergencies by creating safe spaces, raising awareness, preventing violence, providing support services, and fostering community engagement.

This project will encourage the volunteer families (refugee and hosting community) to participate in trainings to serve as volunteers providing alternative and temporary shelter to survivors of violence, especially when the safety of survivors is at risk. The project will enhance the capacity of women and girls with trainings that helps develop skills and knowledge in areas of volunteerism, GBV, livelihood, community-based disaster and emergency management. With the implementation of this project, Ruth envisions safer and more inclusive communities where every individual can live with dignity, free from violence and discrimination.

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Ruth participated in the IVLP Project Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Cultural Vistas, in partnership with Colorado Springs World Affairs Council, International Institute of Buffalo, Northern Nevada International Center, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, World Affairs Council Seattle, and WorldOrlando.

Ruth’s exchange experience led to the development of her project: “During my IVLP experience, I learned that community participation and volunteerism play an important role in disaster preparedness and emergency response in the United States. In such situations, the most vulnerable individuals are women and children, who frequently fall victim to different forms of gender-based violence. To reduce protection risks in the area, I want to bring the community engagement and volunteerism experience I gained during my visits to Seattle and Buffalo to Aysiata in a more organized manner.”

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Colorado Springs, CO; Orlando, FL; Reno, NV; Buffalo, NY; Dallas, TX; Seattle, WA

Country: Ethiopia

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