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Project 302: A memorial with lasting impact

When Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in March 2019 - claiming the lives of 157 on board, including 18 Canadians and many more with ties to Canada, the world mourned the tragic loss.

In 2022, Transport Canada announced the creation of the Commemoration Fund for the Victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Tragedy - guided by the surviving family and friends. The goal was to honour their memories and support the causes they cared about, while making a real and lasting impact in their memory.

CPAR is deeply honored to be chosen as one of the charities to receive funding, and our program 'Commemorating Victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 by Empowering Disadvantaged High School Students in Addis Ababa' (or Project 302) aims to bring lasting and positive change to adolescents in Addis Ababa high schools through a broad outreach program of education, health, career and social development and environmental change.

Learn about Abenezer’s journey, and how CPAR Ethiopia’s transformative initiative set him on a new path:

At just 17, Abenezer (name altered) stands out as one of Mesrak Goh Secondary School's brightest stars. Despite facing financial struggles at home, with his father working as a technician and his mother a stay-at-home parent, Abenezer's academic excellence shines through. But like many of his peers, he lacked exposure to broader societal issues.

Everything changed when CPAR Ethiopia introduced a groundbreaking initiative funded by Transport Canada at his school. Through this program, "Commemorating Victims of Flight ET302 By Empowering High School Students in Addis Ababa," Abenezer found a new path.

Initially skeptical, Abenezer decided to give it a chance. The five-day training opened his eyes to issues he'd never encountered before, like gender equality and social inclusion. But it didn't stop there. CPAR offered further opportunities, including a visit to Ethiopian Airlines, which turned out to be a pivotal moment for Abenezer.

Reflecting on his journey, Abenezer shared: "Throughout my life, I asked myself what I would need to be—a doctor, an engineer, or someone else—and what it would take to be a prominent figure in any field I choose. Every time I asked myself this question, the response I consistently received was, "Being a doctor or an engineer, why is that?" I had no idea that some of the people I knew lived respectable lives and enjoyed better reputations in the community, but when I consider what it takes and does it really matter, I wonder if I should become a doctor, an engineer, or anything else. I couldn't come up with a clear response for what inspires me the most.

“However, upon learning of an exposure visit, I gained insight and inspired by the wisdom imparted by seasoned professionals. I resolved to pursue my ambitions with diligence and dedication. I am confident that with hard work and right mindset, I can achieve success in any field. I am incredibly grateful for the chance you gave me in life. I just said, "I'll make it worthwhile!"

Now, Abenezer is on a mission to make a positive impact in his community, embodying the values of perseverance and gratitude instilled in him by CPAR's initiatives. Let's cheer him on as he continues to shine bright!


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