The Berhane Hewan project promotes education and helps prevent girls from becoming child brides by providing an incentive – a $25 sheep – to families who commit to keeping their girls in school.
In Ethiopia’s Amhara region, girls face tremendous challenges – 43% of girls marry before age 15 and more than 45% of 15 to 19 year olds cannot read at all. The project has enabled more than 11,000 girls to stay in school and delay marriage. Participating girls are more likely than non-participants to remain unmarried and stay in school, and they know more about sexual and reproductive health. Married girls in the sister program are nearly 3 times more likely than others to use family planning.
This project teaches the girls literacy, life skills, health and HIV education, and how to save money. Girls also meet outside of schools in “girl groups” to take part in conversations on early marriage and sexual and reproductive health issues.
An investment of $4.5 to $5 million a year could reach 10 percent of 2 mill girls, enabling them to delay marriage, become educated, learn skills and break the chain of
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
United Nations Foundation: How a $25 Sheep can Sav
UN Foundation: Women & Population Program
UNFPA Ethiopia: Preventing Child Marriage