Inspiring local audiences with her personal story of the impact of the Hadassah-Achotenu Ethiopian-Israeli Scholarships in Health program, graduate Inbal Hanania visited Melbourne and Sydney in May. Together with Judy Lowy, Senior Director of La'Ofek, our Israeli partner organisation, Inbal shared her life journey into nursing, and was keen to express her gratitude to the Australian community for the scholarship that has made her dreams come true.

In Inbal’s words, the Hadassah-Achotenu program: "Provides an opportunity to young Israeli-Ethiopians to give them an education and a good future through academic studies."

Her parents, as children in 1981, made Aliyah via a long, challenging journey, on foot from Ethiopia to Sudan, and then by boat to Israel. Inbal’s heart-rending story truly moved the audiences she spoke to, including students at Mt Scopus, Bialik, Emanuel and Moriah Colleges as well as a Bar-Bat Mitzvah group at Our Big Kitchen in Sydney and adults at the other donor and supporter events: "During the long, very difficult journey, many people suffered on the way to Jerusalem, but they believed that they would get a good future there."

Using the term ‘very disadvantaged’ in referring to the Ethiopian Aliyah, Judy Lowy from Hadassah-Achotenu partner organisation La’Ofek, spoke emotionally of the families of the scholarship students who had come from outlying villages in Ethiopia and who had no education. “When they arrived in Israel, they had trouble learning the language and adjusting to the culture. It was vital to find a way to give them a hand up, not a hand out, and that’s how the program started.”

Inbal’s dream of becoming a nurse came to her while she was working with children with special needs after her three-year army service as an officer in the Airforce. It was this dream that inspired her to apply for the Hadassah-Achotenu Ethiopian-Israeli Scholarships in Health program and go through the five long years of studying to become a nurse. Like many of her co-students, Inbal is the first person in her family and group of friends to earn a degree.

Since graduating in 2021, Inbal has fulfilled her dream of becoming a paediatric nurse. She works at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon and loves her job. "People see me as a role model.”

The Hadassah-Achotenu Ethiopian-Israeli University Scholarship in Health Program helps Ethiopian-Israelis earn degrees at the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing and the School of Occupational Therapy.

10 June 2022

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