In rural parts of Ethiopia, women are the most vulnerable groups who face cultural, social and economical burdens. The main challenges to them include prevalence of harmful traditional practices, limited access to health care services, poor infrastructure, poor transportation facilities, poverty, illiteracy, school dropout rates, lack of income and other related factors. Harmful traditional practices, including female genital cutting, early marriage and childbearing, gender-based violence, forced marriage, wife inheritance, and a high value for large families, all impose huge negative impacts on women’s Reproductive Health (RH). This in turn has reduced their chances to participate in decision making processing and assuming leading position. Limited access to education is the main factor which has hindered the socio-economic development of women and girls in rural areas. To ameliorate the above conditions, Woldeamanueal Dubale Foundation (WaDF) in collaboration with private colleges has managed to provide tuition fee waivered scholarship opportunity for 16 disadvantaged girls who are currently attending education at certificate, diploma and degree levels. This was done through the project entitled Empower Disadvantaged Women and Girls in Ethiopia (12287). During the reporting period, the project was successfully implemented and tried to solve multi-directional problems of girls. Provision of educational material and counseling services were made to few students. The project officer of WaDF are regularly monitoring the performance of the students and encouraging them to attain better academic results. Miss Fanaye Murato is one of the lucky scholarship awardees who is currently attending diploma program in Library Science at Catholic Vocational training College. Miss Martha Nanelo is another girl who is attending the hair dressing skill training at Cozi beauty Training center. Both girls are very happy by the scholarship chance given to them and bright future ahead.
To avert social, cultural and economical problems faced by resource poor women and girls empowering them through training and establishment of self-help groups is vital. WaDF has managed to implement the women Empowerment project effectively and efficiently in Southern Regional State of Ethiopia.
The project managed to provide vocational and skill training for 16 disadvantaged girls in collaboration with skill training centers on matching fund basis. These trainees are attending courses on library science, information and communication technology, surveying and hair dressing. Moreover, relevant beauty equipment and materials were also purchased to be used by the two self help groups which have been established by 10 previously graduated hair dressing trainees. Two beauty salons have been arranged and furnished for these self-help groups.
Miss Zeritu Senbeto is one of the beneficiaries who was selected from remote kebele of Sidama zone said that she had academic potential but failed to pursue vocational training due to lack of financial resources. She thanked the project for giving her a chance to attend Information Technology which makes her future brighter. Without this chance she might be forced and coerced to engage in marriage relationships.
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