Harmful traditional practices are widely practiced in Ethiopia, particularly early marriage, which severely impacts girls' educational, social, and economic opportunities. In addition, girls have a greater work load than boys and those from poor families often leave school to support their family. These young girls often lack knowledge of sexual and reproductive health issues and frequently experience sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortions, and pregnancy-related health risks.
Pathfinder integrates secondary school scholarships, health and life skills, and mentoring to help adolescent girls in Ethiopia realize their full potential. Through school-based girls' clubs, girls have a safe space to learn about sexual and reproductive health, learn from and be inspired by mentors, and build social networks and leadership skills. We also work in the community so that parents understand the importance of girls' education and a healthy sexual and reproductive life.
We believe that keeping girls in school is one of the best ways to prevent early marriage and pregnacy. We support girls so they will continue their education, build support networks and leadership skills through girls' clubs, and develop skills to improve their chances for later employment. Most importantly, girls develop their ability to assert their own point of view, including controlling their reproductive lives. Our aim is to impact the health and well-being of 1000 girls in Ethiopia.