Educate and Empower 800 Ethiopian Girls

 
$37,144
$104,105
Raised
Remaining
Jan 3, 2012

Girls Have a New Perspective on Their Future

GlobalGiving Scholarship Program

Report on activities between September – December 2011

NEW SCHOLARSHIP BENEFICIARIES

Over the reporting period and with funds from GlobalGiving, Pathfinder International has chosen two new girls to be beneficiaries of our scholarship program in Ethiopia. These girls will be assisted for 21 months and will receive 3,318 ETB (approximately $192). Below, please find brief profiles for the two girls who were selected in the last four months.

Mahfed Yeshigeta is 18 years old and blind. Her mother is deceased and her father is a farmer living in the remote area of Tegulate. Mahfed came to Addis Ababa to live with one of her relatives and go to school. Her relative has since died and Mahfed was left with no support for her education or livelihood. In order to eat and pay for her school fees, she had few other choices but to sell lottery tickets. During this time, Mahfed had a boyfriend who was also blind, and due to a lack of awareness about reproductive health and related safety precautions, Mahfed became pregnant and now has a son. Her boyfriend has denied that he is the father, and offers no support in raising the child.

As life for Mahfed became more and more challenging, her school teachers considered her situation and recommended her for GlobalGiving scholarship assistance. She has now been a beneficiary of the program since October 2011 and is in the 13th grade at the Menilik secondary school.  Currently, Mahfed is eagerly pursuing her education, “I feel like I was born again and it is my renaissance, because I very much feel courageous and confident that, I would join the faculty of law and get graduated so as to advocate for gender equality in the near future.”

Alemnesh Kassa was born in the Amhara region of North Wolo, in the district of Raya. Her parents are farmers and have 5 other children who do not attend school. Alemnesh, fearing that her fate would be the same as her brothers, decided to go to Addis Ababa to live with her aunt and get an education. Unfortunately, her aunt was killed in a car accident, and Alemnesh was left with nobody to support her.

Despite Alemnesh’s struggles, she has always stood 1st in her class. Her school, understanding her problem, recommended her for the GlobalGiving scholarship assistance. She is currently in 7th grade at the Kedamawy Menelik primary school.  Alemnesh said, “this financial assistance, would inspire me more, and keep me up stand 1st all the way until I complete my university education, and I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the GlobalGiving for the scholarship support they have provided me.”


Attachments:
Oct 10, 2011

School year begins for scholarship students!

GLOBAL GIVING SCHOLARSHIP PROJECT Update

Introduction

Pathfinder International, with support from Global Giving funds, started providing scholarship support for economically vulnerable and academically strong girls in order to increase the retention of female students at a higher level of education. Between 2008 and now, a total of 65 girls have been supported. Many girls are just now starting the school year and as a result of the Global Giving scholarship funds, are able to buy their mandatory school uniform and other necessary school materials.

Profile of current scholarship beneficiaries 

1. Etaferahu Dange was born in the Gulele sub-city Woreda 3. She is currently 17 years old and an 11th grade student at the Dilber Secondary School. 

Her father died in a car accident so she lives with her mother who makes a living by washing clothes as a daily laborer. Despite this job, there are some days that her mother does not get paid and thus cannot buy daily bread for Etaferahu. 

Etaferahu is an outstanding student, ranking 1st out of 33 students, but due to her family’s financial problems, she had difficulties fulfilling the necessary educational requirements and continuing her education. She was then identified by the sub-city women’s association and the AAWA executive committee then recommended her for the Global Giving girl’s scholarship assistance. As a result of the Global Giving scholarship support, Etaferahu now goes to school consistently and is able to meet all of the requirements of her class.  

2.  Amarech Masresha was born in south Gonder of Nefas Mawcha woreda. Her parents are farmers in the remote area of the woreda and have insufficient income to support Amarech. At age 5, she went to Addis Ababa to live with her aunt and enroll in grade one of school.

Unfortunately, her uncle, the supporter of the household, died and there was nobody to support Amarech and her aunt. She struggled in school, and was on the verge of dropping out when the school community understood her problems and applied for scholarship assistance on behalf of Amarech. As the result, the AAWA executive committee approved the Global Giving scholarship grant and Amarech is currently in 11th grade at the Entoto Amba secondary school. She ranked 3rd out of 52 students this year and continues to be an incredible student. 

3. Yematawork Bezawork was born in Amhara region of Bulga Awraja. Her parents led their life through very low subsistence farming. She is disabled (likely due to polio virus). 

At an early age, Yematawork was sent to a charitable organization called Meskane Huzunan children fund in Addis Ababa. When she was a 9th grade student, the institution closed and there was nobody to support her with a home or food. Yematawork’s disability combined with hunger, lack of clothing, and shelter, was an incredibly challenging situation. 

Fortunately, an older woman found her and offered her a temporary place to stay in a kitchen corner. Yematawork attended school, but there were times she went with no breakfast and came home with no dinner. The sub-city women’s association, recommended her for the Global Giving scholarship opportunity, and since May 2008, Yematawork, has been a beneficiary of your support. She understands the value of this great opportunity and works hard to be the outstanding student that she is. Yematawork said, “The Reproductive Health, Gender and HTP as well as the life skill training given by the A.A.W.A, along with the global giving scholarship financial support has given me strength, courage, self confidence and self realization, in all my studies and other life aspects. As the result of this, I have scored 350 points in the E.S.L.C. examination, which enables me to join university at the architectural engineering department which is my primary choice. Thanks to the Global Giving scholarship support I reached one stage. I will make all the necessary effort and struggle to accomplishment my study and change my life in the future.”   

4. Desta Melaku:  Was born in the Amhara region of Lasta. At age 4, she came to Addis Ababa with her parents, two brothers, and her sister. Her father is a priest at the local church and her mother is a house maid. Combined, they make very little money to support a family of five. 

Desta is an outstanding student but her parents were not financially in the position to continue to support her education. While she was on the verge of dropping out of school, the school authority recommended her as a recipient of the Global Giving scholarship. She has now been a beneficiary of this support since August 2009. 

Desta recently took the ESLCE exam scoring an average mark of 417 and passing on to University. In the future, Desta plans to join the medical college and become a Doctor to help the poor and society at-large.

Desta explained her experience as a beneficiary, “Since my parents get sick very often, I was at the verge of dropping my education so as to replace my mammy, and cover all the house chores. The scholarship assistance has given me strength, courage, and full confidence to continue my education… I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Global Giving for the scholarship support they provided me and enable me to reach this stage and shape my future.”

5. Rediet Abebe was born in Addis Ababa. Her parents got divorced at a young age and Rediet was forced to live with her aunt. She was expected to support her aunt with household tasks and as a result was unable to attend school regularly. 

Considering her burden, the school community recommended her to the AAWA for the Global Giving scholarship support, and she has now been a recipient since May 2008. 

Rediet is now 19 years old and the scholarship support has changed her life. “This support has inspired the darkest and gloomy ambition I had. I feel very lucky for being able followed my education properly with great desire and ambition. It has given me carriage, with this I did work hard and succeeded in my high school education, for this, I have scored an average of 370 in the ESLCE which would help me join the university and get graduated as health officer”. The knowledge that I got from gender and reproductive health and life skill training I took along with the scholarship support helped me to develop my self confidence and have vision and to continue working hard in my future education as well as future career.” 

Rediet also said that, “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Global Giving for their assistance, had it not been for their support I would not reach this stage, such kind of scholarship assistance would help to change girls who have similar life challenges and it would save girls life from being victim of different gender based violence and sexual exploitation and enable them to change their life.” 

6. Samrawit Engdashet: was born in 1994 in Addis Ababa. She does not know her mother and was raised by her father who then died when Samrawit was only 6 years old. She then moved in with her aunt and was supported by her uncle. After some time, her uncle also died, leaving his 6 children and wife with little support or finances. Samrawit was unable to continue her education until the sub-city women’s association recommended her for the Global Giving scholarship support and she has now been a recipient of this support since May 2008. She is now 17 years old and has completed the 12th grade. She took the ESLCE exam and scored a 303 which will put in her in a good position to attend University. Samrawits plans to be a medical doctor in the future.

“As a student, I need not luxurious things except very simple and very important things for my education. Thus, I am very much pleased and delighted to get such kind of scholarship assistance that enables me to buy the school materials I need.  The scholarship assistance has enabled me to continue my education properly; it gives me strength, courage, self-confidence and self-realization. Thus, I would like to extend my gratitude to Global Giving.” 

7. Chekolech Tegeng was born in Gayint district of Amhara region, and came to Addis Ababa at the age of 9 to start living with her aunt. Her aunt worked as a house maid with a very minimal salary and could not afford buying school materials for Chekolech. 

Chekolech was a very clever student, always ranking 1st - 3rd in her class. However, as a result of her financial limitations, she could not continue school. Thus, she was offered a Global Giving scholarship in May 2008 and has since completed her secondary education. Chekolech took the university entrance exam, the ESLCE, and scored a passing grade of 392.

Chekolech explains her gratitude for Global Giving stating that, “I am very lucky for getting this scholarship opportunity; it helped me to reach this stage. The scholarship was a big support for a girl coming from a difficult circumstance like me. I have not enough words to express how much I am delighted and grateful to the Global Giving fund for giving me such scholarship support. Moreover, I plead and suggest that giving such kind of scholarship to more misfortunate and clever female students will contribute a lot in changing their life and will also help the country at large to create more empowered and productive female citizens.”

8.  Fikrte Tene was born in Addis Ababa. Her father sells firewood and her mother is a house maid. Their daily income is very limited they cannot afford supporting their eight children. The sub-city women’s association recommended her for the scholarship opportunity and since January 2010 she has been a beneficiary. Fikrte is an outstanding student who often ranks 2nd in her class.  This year she took the ESLCE and scored 334 points, which allowed her the opportunity to apply to University. “I am very much grateful for the global giving scholarship opportunity. In the future I would like to join university at engineering factuality; I have a dream to become future productive engineer. “


Attachments:
Sep 11, 2011

Update on Scholarship Girls

 GLOBAL GIVING Girls’ Scholarship PROJECT Update

Introduction

Poverty and traditional values put many girls in Ethiopia less likely to access school, to remain in school and/or to achieve success in their education. Consequently, girls who lack educational opportunities are more vulnerable to poverty, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, harmful traditional practices such as early marriage and different forms of reproductive health problems. Therefore, creating educational opportunity is one of the approaches for improving girls and women reproductive health and to empower them to control their own lives. Educating girls and women is an important step in overcoming poverty, the mere fact is that, if they are educated then they will not depend on others and thereby they develop their self esteem and increase their self confidence, in turn having a positive effect on their children.

Thus, comprehending the importance of girls education and women’s economic empowerment, Pathfinder International through funding from Global Giving, providing scholarship opportunity for girls from resource poor families, girls who have good academic performance and want to continue their education and also who have interest to serve as role model and peer educator for the other female students in their school and community. This is all made possible through funds from Global Giving.

The Global Giving girl’s scholarship project is implemented by the Addis Ababa Women’s Association. The selection committee for Scholarship beneficiaries’ is organized by Addis Ababa Women’s Association and the committee are comprised of Addis Women’s Association and school directors and teachers. As it was done before, based on the preset selection criteria 12 girls were newly recruited during the reporting time and were provided with the scholarship grant.

Therefore, the total number of Global Giving scholarship beneficiaries is 63, of which one student has withdrawn. The total amount of money for the scholarships to date is about 265,221.00 birr.

Please see attached, full report for details on new beneficiaries and photos.

Newly recruited scholarship beneficiary girls profile

1.        Rahel Dires:

Rahel is 13 years old, attending grade 5 at Biruh Terfa elementary School. Her mother was a victim of early marriage at age 10 and gave birth at the ages 14 and 16.

As a result of this, she became a victim of fistula and her husband divorced her due to the problem. As she had no place to go or live, she started living at the church yard living inside the thorn plastic house with her 2 female babies, Rahel and her sister. Rahel’s mother started begging on the street to feed her children and tried to send them to school. Both children are now attending school.

Unfortunately, Rahel was raped on her way back from school and apart from her physical injury she suffered from significant psychological trauma. After the incident, her teachers counseled her and she received immediate medical treatment and tested for HIV. To her luck she was found free of HIV infection. As a result of the Global Giving funds, Rahel is currently attending school with great aspiration and contentment. Her mother fistula was treated but she is still having some reproductive health problems; she is also receiving support from the Global Giving fund and is engaged in the income generating activities. As they said, they are both very grateful for Global Giving and Pathfinder International for giving them a chance to live a better life. 

2. Nigist Mesfin:

She was born in Lasta Awraja of Amhara region. She has 3 brothers and 5 sisters, their father divorced their mother at an early age, and their mother was not in a position to support the family. As a result of this, Nigist came to Addis Ababa to live with her aunt, but life was not as easy as she had expected. Nigist was forced by her aunt to work as a house maid taking responsibility for all household chores. She was also psychologically harassed; it was very difficult for her to attend school properly 

Nigist’s school officials realized the problem she was facing and selected her to receive Global Giving scholarship support. At present, Nigist is 15 years old, attending 8th grade at the Kebena elementary school. She has great vision to become a better person and live a better life.

3.            Netsanet Begashaw

Netsanet lives in Arada sub city, Woreda 7. She was born in Minjar district Amhara region.  Her father is a farmer and her mother a house-maid.  She has 2 brothers and 3 sisters of which she is the youngest. She came to Addis Ababa at the age of 7 and started living with her aunt.  Unfortunately, her aunt died and Netsanet was left without support and was thus forced to stop going to school. Realizing her problem, she was selected to receive a Global Giving scholarship. At present, Netsanet is 15 years old, attending 8th grade at the Kebena elementary school, she is very grateful for the support of Global Giving.

4.      Mariamawit Addis

Mariamawit is 12 years old, a 6th grade student at the Agazian Elementary School. Her father died at an early age, and thus Mariamawit is living with her grandfather and mother. Her grandfather is very old, working as a guard with very low salary that he could not even afford to pay her school fees.

As a result, she is a recipient of the Global Giving scholarship and is attending school with new sprit and enthusiasm.

5.      Serawit  Mesfin

Serawit Mesfin was born in Harar, she has 3 brothers and one sister. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a house maid. Her family income is very small a kind of “hand to mouth.”  Thus, she came to Addis to live with her aunt expecting to get proper educational opportunity; however, her aunt forced her to serve as a house maid during her spare time. Serawit, as a result of the work load that she holds at home, found it difficult to continue her education properly, and she considered dropping out of school.  After receiving the Global Giving scholarship support, she has been able to attend school with new sprit. She is now 16 years old and attending in 7th grade.

6.      Hana Tadele   

Hana is an 11th grade student, her father is deceased and her mother is HIV positive. Her family leads a very wretched life; they have no income or support leaving it challenging for Hana to continue her education.  As a result of this, she was selected as a recipient of the Global Giving scholarship grant. After receiving the scholarship she was able to buy school materials and to continue her education properly.

7.            Wolansa Negusie

Wolansa Nugusie was born in Aleltu Oromia region.  She is an orphan and her aunt brought her to Addis Ababa to support her but her husband was abusive and unwilling to support Wolansa’s education. Because of this, Wolansa had difficulty continuing her education. She is now provided with a GlobalGiving scholarship opportunity.  Wolansa is now 16 years old and is attending 8th grade. She is very happy and grateful for the GlobalGiving support, and she said that “hasn’t be this support I would have stop my education and could live without any future hope, but now thanks to the Global Giving support I am very happy and I have great vision to be a good productive citizen”. 

8.                Hirut Fekade

Hirut is 16 years old, a student in 7th grade. She was born in Lalibela, Amhara region. Her father and brother are farmers and her mother is a house maid. She came to Addis looking for education and was hired as a house servant, but after 3 months her employees fired her because of her eye sight problem.

She was determined to continue her education and rented a very small living room for Birr 30 per month, and started selling lottery on the street during her spare time to support herself. However life was challenging and she had difficulty continuing her education. Her teachers recommended that she receive the GlobalGiving scholarship support as a result of her struggles yet strong academic performance. After getting this GlobalGiving support she has been able to further pursue her education.

9.                Getie Demrew

Getie is 18 years old, a student of 8th grade. She was born in Shenkora, Amhara region. Her mother is widowed and working as a house maid for very little money. She has 2 brothers and 1 sister. Her mother insisted Getie marry at a young age, but Getie refused and ran away to Addis Ababa.

She found her uncle in Addis Ababa and stayed with him for 3 years. Unfortunately, her uncle passed away and his wife insisted Getie work for her as a babysitter for her children. Gete refused and went to her neighbors whom they gave her a shelter to live. Getie started washing clothes and cooking Enjera (local bread) by roaming from house to house to support herself. However, it was difficult for her to continuing her education full heartedly. Seeing her hard work and determination, she was nominated to become a recipient of the GlobalGiving scholarship project. She has now been able to attend her education properly and her work load is minimized ensuring sufficient time to study.

10.             Tigist mekonen

Tigist was born in Addis Ababa, Yeka sub city. She is 14 years old and in the 6th grade. She is an orphan and living with her sister who is a house maid. She has 2 brothers, both of whom have dropped out of school due to poverty. Thus, Tigist is offered with the GlobalGiving scholarship opportunity, and able to continue her education.

11.             Marta Tamrat

Marta is 17 years old Living in Addis Ababa, Arada sub-city, Woreda 6 and is in the 9th grade. Her father died during her childhood, she has a twin sister and 2 other sisters. Marta’s mother is supporting her family by washing clothes and baking Enjera for other people. She is also engaged in selling vegetables and fruits as a small scale business. The money her mother receives is not enough to fulfill all the necessary educational materials for her children and to properly feed them. Marta helps her mother during her spare time especially by selling vegetables and fruits.

Marta expressed her great gratitude to GlobalGiving and Pathfinder International for granting her the scholarship support saying, “from now onward, I will give very great attention to my education and I will join university at the facility of business administration” and she also wants to be a journalist. She is happily attending her education.

12.             Zewdnesh Dubre

Zewdnesh is 15 years old; she came from Sendafa. She is an orphan and was living with her aunt, who insisted that she marry early, but Zewdnesh refused the marriage and ran away from home and to Addis Ababa. She was hired as a house maid for about 4 years and continued her education at the evening school with good performance; she scored 1st in her class.

Realizing her hard work and ambition to her education, her neighbors provided Zewdnesh with shelter. To feed herself, she started working during her spare time and after school hours. But one day, the house owner tried to rape her; luckily she escaped by telling him that she was HIV positive. He then informed her that he could no longer support her. Thus, her teachers communicated with the Addis Ababa Women’s Association and asked that she receive GlobalGiving scholarship support. She is now a scholarship beneficiary and currently attending the 6th grade.


Attachments:
Jun 15, 2011

Continued educational success!

PATHFINDER INTERNATIONAL

GLOBAL GIVING SCHOLARSHIP

JANUARY – MARCH 2011 REPORT

  

BACKGROUND

A number of international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, have emphasized the importance of education. The Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, recognized that female literacy is essential to empowering women to participate in decision making in society and to improving the well-being of families. In addition, the United Nations has articulated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include goals for improved education, gender equality, and women's empowerment. The MDGs emphasize the essential role of education in building democratic societies and creating a foundation for sustained economic growth.

Education contributes directly to the growth of national income by improving the productive capacities of the labor force. Offering basic education to girls is a proven way of increasing their power and confidence and enabling them to make choices over the lives they lead.  

Educated women have the chance to live more healthy and successful lives. There are also important benefits for society as a whole. An educated woman has the skills, information, and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker, and citizen. An educated woman is likely to marry at a later age and have fewer children. Research shows that an additional year of schooling for girls reduces fertility rates and that the children of educated mothers are more likely to survive. In addition, the benefits of education on women's empowerment and gender equality are broadly recognized.

Although Ethiopia's education and training policy stresses the need to sensitize society about the importance of female education, it still has a long way to go in making this a reality. In Ethiopia, many families struggle economically, thus most female students leave school to stay home to assume household chores or to work at the family business. Poverty and a lack of female education have always been acute in Ethiopia. Some key factors contributing to these problems are: gender-based discrimination; educating males over females; early and forced marriage of females; and young peoples’ limited knowledge of life skills, family planning (FP) and reproductive health (RH).

In Ethiopia, the enrollment of female students at the elementary level is more than 55%. For the reasons mentioned above, this number decreases sharply in secondary, undergraduate, and graduate schools. As such, Pathfinder, in partnership with Addis Ababa Women’s Association, is providing scholarship support for economically vulnerable but academically strong girls in order to increase the retention of female students at a higher level of education. In the last three months, with support from Global Giving funds, Pathfinder has been able to enroll seven new students in school.

Since 2008, the generous contributions from Global Giving donors have enabled Pathfinder to support 58 scholarship students.

SCHOLARSHIP DETAILS

Scholarship beneficiaries are selected from the school’s Gender club in collaboration with school management. The Addis Ababa Women’s Association closely monitors the girls’ lifestyle, progress in school, and provides the students with services to help them thrive. Most scholarship beneficiaries are orphans living with foster families. To ensure the well-being and capacity of the girls to succeed in school, the Association approaches and consults the foster families, and also reaches out to the beneficiary to discuss any problems she may be facing at home. In the school setting, the grades and performance of the scholarship recipients are monitored closely through exams and reports. Additionally, beneficiaries are offered life skills and trainings on issues of gender, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health. To enhance leadership skills and self-confidence, the beneficiaries are given leadership positions in the school gender clubs. As result, the beneficiaries have demonstrated a strong work ethic in school and have the goal of becoming professional women.

GLOBAL GIVING SCHOLARS’ STORIES

(see attachment for pictures)

Azmera Abebe was born in the Worota district, Ethiopia. She is from a very poor family and at the age of 7, was forced to sell lemons to support her family. While Azmera was working at a bus station, she met a woman in need of a babysitter in Addis Ababa. Azmera agreed to work for her and soon went to the city, where she served as a baby sitter and house maid to this woman and her family. She went to school in the evenings through 8th grade, at which point she transferred to day school. The responsibilities of taking care of a child, household chores, and attending classes jeopardized her performance in school. Azmera said that “it was very difficult for me to continue my education in such situation, I had no enough time to study and unable to catch good performance in my education.” Despite these challenges, she successfully completed 9th grade and was recognized as a strong candidate for the Global Giving scholarship program. She is now attending grade 10 through Global Giving funds, and “thanks to the Global Giving Scholarship support now I am very much happy and able to continue my education without fear; I am able to properly cover my educational expenses; I have enough time to read and to improve my educational performance for the future; I have a vision to work hard and be a better person.”

Meskerem Zeleke is a 12th grade student at Menelik School. She is from a very poor family and both her sister and father are severely disabled as a result of a car accident. Meskerem began taking care of both her sister and father, while also maintaining the burden of house chores. She eventually decided to stop attending school and find work to support her family. After learning about the Global Giving scholarship program, she asked for support, and was awarded the opportunity. Meskerem states, “Now I am relieved and able to attend my education without any financial difficulties, from the financial support I get from the Global Giving scholarship I am able to cover all my educational expenses and paying for my school uniform and with the remaining money I am able to buy some food stuff for my family. For this I am very much grateful to the Global Giving fund.” Currently, she is attending school with great hope and aspiration to enroll in the University.

Marshet Mekonen is a 10th grade student at K.D. Selam School. She has 2 sisters and one brother, and her father is deceased. Marshet is responsible for supporting her family, and therefore engaged in selling lottery tickets, roaming from place to place until late in the evening. Her lifestyle made her a good candidate for the Global Giving Scholarship and also supplemental  training on issues of reproductive health, harmful traditional practices, HIV, and gender-based violence. She is currently attending school with great interest and very strong academic performance.  She confidently expresses her hopes by saying that, “I would work hard to get better than this and would join University and study public administration and international relation and want to be the future prime minister of Ethiopia. Above all I am very much grateful for the Global Giving support, without their support I wouldn’t be able to continue my education and reach to this level.

Meaza Sema is an 11th grade student at the Menelik School. She is 17 years old with 3 sisters, an unemployed mother, and a deceased father. Meaza had difficulty continuing her education as her mother was unable to support the family and provide the necessary educational materials.  As a result, Meaza is a recipient of a Global Giving scholarship. Since receipt of this scholarship opportunity, Meaza has achieved excellent academic performance, is very clever, and has excellent conduct. She is ambitious and determined to join a university in the near future.


Attachments:
Feb 7, 2011

Continued Scholarships Update!

PATHFINDER INTERNATIONAL

GLOBAL GIVING SCHOLARSIP

SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER 2010 REPORT

BACKGROUND

A number of international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, have emphasized the importance of education. The Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, recognized that female literacy is essential to empowering women to participate in decision making in society and to improving the well-being of families. In addition, the United Nations has articulated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include goals for improved education, gender equality, and women's empowerment. The MDGs emphasize the essential role of education in building democratic societies and creating a foundation for sustained economic growth.

Education contributes directly to the growth of national income by improving the productive capacities of the labor force. Offering girls basic education is a proven way to increasing their power and confidence and enabling them to make choices over the lives they lead.  

Educated women have the chance to live more healthy and successful lives. There are also important benefits for society as a whole. An educated woman has the skills, information, and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker, and citizen. An educated woman is likely to marry at a later age and have fewer children. Research shows that an additional year of schooling for girls reduces fertility rates and that the children of educated mothers are more likely to survive. In addition, the benefits of education on women's empowerment and gender equality are broadly recognized. In Ethiopia and in much of the developing world, female education has the following advantages:

  • As female education rises, fertility, population growth, and infant and child mortality fall and family health improves.
  • Increases in girls' secondary school enrollment are associated with increases in women's participation in the labor force and their contributions to household and national income.
  • Women's increased capacity to earn money has a positive effect on child nutrition.
  • Children — especially daughters — of educated mothers are more likely to be enrolled in school and to have higher levels of educational attainment.
  • Educated women are more politically active and better informed about their legal rights and how to exercise them.

Although Ethiopia's education and training policy stresses the need to sensitize society about the importance of female education, it still has a long way to go in making this a reality. In Ethiopia, many families struggle economically, thus most female students leave school to stay home to assume household chores or to work at the family business. Poverty and a lack of female education have always been acute in Ethiopia. Some key factors contributing to these problems are: gender-based discrimination; educating males over females, early and forced marriage of females, and young peoples’ limited knowledge of life skills and sexual and reproductive health.

In Ethiopia, the enrollment of female students at the elementary level is more than 55%. For the reasons mentioned above, this number decreases sharply in preparatory, undergraduate, and graduate schools. It is quite evident that gender equality is unattainable and unimaginable without empowering women through education. As such, Pathfinder, in partnership with Addis Ababa Women’s Association, is providing scholarship support for economically vulnerable but academically strong girls in order to increase the retention of female students at a higher level of education. In the last three months, with support from Global Giving funds, Pathfinder has been able to enroll three new students in school and continue educational support for four young women whose scholarships were going to expire before they completed secondary school.

SCHOLARSHIP DETAILS

Scholarship beneficiaries are selected from the school’s Gender club in collaboration with school management. The Addis Ababa Women’s Association closely monitors the girls’ lifestyle, progress in school, and provides the students with services to help them thrive. Most scholarship beneficiaries are orphans living with foster families. To ensure the well-being and capacity of the girls to succeed in school, the Association approaches and consults the foster families, and also reaches out to the beneficiary to discuss any problems she may be facing at home. In the school setting, the grades and performance of the scholarship recipients are monitored closely through exams and reports. Additionally, beneficiaries are offered life skills and trainings on issues of gender, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health. To enhance leadership skills and self-confidence, the beneficiaries are given leadership positions in the school gender clubs. The above efforts have proven effective as the beneficiaries have demonstrated a strong work ethic in school and have set a dream and vision of becoming a professional woman.

 

NEW SCHOLARSHIP GIRLS ADMITTED BETWEEN SEPTEMBER AND DECEMBER 2010

Three new students have been admitted to the scholarship program since September 2010.

Name: Mastewal Abebe

Grade: 9

Age: 16

Period of assistance: 24 months from Oct  2010

Status: Comes from a very poor family, she was planning to dropout.

 

Name: A/work Mamush

Grade: 9

Age: 16

Period of assistance: 24 months from Oct  2010

Status: She is living with an HIV+ and sick mother.

 

Name: Nigist Endale

Grade: 10

Age: 18

Period of assistance: 24 months from Oct  2010

Status: Is an orphan, living with a poor foster family. She was planning to dropout.

 

EXTENSION OF ASSISTANCE TO PREVIOUS SCHOLARSHIP BENEFICIARIES

Extension of assistance was made to the following girls who were already supported by the scholarship and who required additional fund to complete their high school studies.

 Name: Hilina Kebede

 

Grade: 11

Initial deposit: As of May 08

 

Duration:30 months

Finished: Oct 2010

Extension of assistance: 20 months as of Nov 2010

 

Name: Mariamawit Az

 

Grade: 11

Initial deposit: As of March 09

Duration: 23 months

Finished: Jan 2010

Extension of assistance: 20 months as of Nov 2010

 

Name: Rut Shume

Grade: 11

Initial Deposit: As of Mar 09

Duration: 23 months

Finished: Jan 2010

Extension of assistance: 20 months as of Nov 2010

 

Name: Yamatu Kassa

Grade: 11

Initial Deposit: As of Mar 09

Duration: 23 months

Finished: Jan 2010

Extension of assistance: 20 months as of Nov 2010


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Organization

Project Leader

Caitlin Corneliess

Institutional Giving Officer
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Where is this project located?