Educating and Empowering 1,000 Girls in Ethiopia

by Pathfinder International
Girls at school
Girls at school

Pathfinder International launched our girls’ empowerment project in November 2012 as part of the Girl Effect/GlobalGiving Challenge. We were pleased to receive so much support from individuals like you
in just 30 days. Your investment in this project has allowed us to conduct the
following activities:

Our team held preliminary meetings with the Amhara and Addis Ababa Women’s Associations to inform them of the project and to begin thinking about girls to be selected for scholarships and leadership roles in girls’
clubs.  From the Amhara region, the Dera woreda was selected as a target area for the project as school dropout rates among girls is high because of poverty and early marriage. In Dera woreda, our staff held a half-day consultative meeting to establish a scholarship beneficiary selection committee.

In Addis Ababa, four schools in Yeka sub-city were selected as many of the students are from slums and face extreme poverty. In addition to the four schools selected by the project, the Addis Ababa Women’s Association selected three secondary schools: Salyesh secondary school (Yeka sub-city), Debreselam school (Kechena
sub-city) , and Beherawe Betemengest school (Arada sub city). The same kind of scholarship committee mentioned above was established for this target area.

Since the creation of the committees, 30 female students (20 from Amhara region and 10 from Addis Ababa) have been recruited to receive scholarship benefits and begin participation in established girls’ clubs at their school.

In addition, we recently conducted a small-scale needs assessment on how to strengthen or establish girls’ clubs, and the types of books needed for library support at the selected schools. This needs assessment identified the barriers and requirements for the continued education of our female students. The needs we identified were:

  • A lack of knowledge about gender
    issues, impacts of early marriage, sexual and reproductive health concepts and
    awareness of the importance of girls’ education in the community
  • A shortage of instruction materials
    such as text books and reference materials in the libraries of both schools
  • The remote location of the schools
    from the girls’ homes required students to rent dorms closer to the school
    which necessitated additional funds

From May to July 2013, the first round of scholarship payments covered tuition and school materials, and was distributed to 27 girls for two months of education. In addition, the project distributed information,
education and communication (IEC) materials about skills education and education transformation at two high schools. The project was also able to procure profiles of its scholarships students in order to better understand the
needs, strengths and challenges of our beneficiaries and facilitate their scholarship grants.

Girls reading together
Girls reading together

Pathfinder International – Ethiopia

Educating and Empowering 1,000 Girls in Ethiopia

Quarterly Report May 2013

Pathfinder International is pleased to report that since our last update, we have made significant progress on launching our project. In the past quarter, we have completed the following activities:

Our team held preliminary meetings with the Amhara and Addis Ababa Women’s Associations to inform them of the project and to begin thinking about girls to be selected for scholarships and leadership roles
in girls’ clubs.  From the Amhara region, the Dera woreda was selected as a
target area for the project as school dropout rates among girls is high because of poverty and early marriage. In Dera woreda, our staff held a half-day consultative meeting to establish a scholarship beneficiary selection committee.
The committee will be composed of eight members of the Amhara Women’s Association, the head of the woreda  administration bureau, the head of the education bureau, school administrators, and current gender club leaders,
a student representative, and a Pathfinder coordinator.


From Addis Ababa, four schools in Yeka sub-city will be targeted as many of the students from these schools are coming from slums and face extreme poverty.  In addition to the four schools selected by the project, he Addis Ababa Women’s Association selected three secondary schools: Salyesh secondary school (Yeka sub-city), Debreselam school (Kechena sub-city) , and Beherawe Betemengest school (Arada sub city). The same kind of
scholarship committee mentioned above was established for this target area.

Since the creation of the committees, 30 female students (20 from Amhara region and 10 from Addis Ababa) have been recruited to receive scholarship benefits and begin participation in established girls’ clubs at their school. Once these girls are approved and enrolled, the project will provide details about their backgrounds.



 



Links:

Pathfinder International was delighted to participate in the GlobalGiving Girl Effect Challenge, and while we were not a finalist, we have started planning our next phase of girls' empowerment programming in Ethiopia thanks to the generous support of so many donors.

Pathfinder has been supporting girls' education in Ethiopia through a designated scholarship program for several years. Through Pathfinder’s previous work in Ethiopia on women’s and girls’ empowerment, we have learned that holistic activities that engage parents, students, and the community can begin to change the social norms and beliefs around early marriage and harmful traditional practices. In addition, we have learned that it is critical to support a girl throughout her secondary school education or the financial burdens placed on the family increases the likelihood that the girl will have to drop out of school.

As a result of our learning, this new project aims to incorporate not only educational assistance, but also provide the necessary funds to support girls' clubs and other enrichment activities that will encourage girls to become
leaders in their schools and community. Another key element of this project will be support for community activities that will engage parents and other community leaders in discussions and activities aimed at increasing acceptance of girls’ education and empowerment and reducing harmful traditional practices that often curtail a girl’s opportunity to receive an education.

We are just in the planning phase of the project and have started to reach out to the Addis Ababa Women’s Association and the Amhara Women’s Association to identify girls to participate in the project. The two associations have already identified 15 girls in need of academic support and who demonstrate strong leadership potential.

In the coming months we’ll start to support girls’ clubs at selected schools by providing activities that focus on sexual and reproductive health education, including HIV and AIDS awareness. In addition, we’ll begin planning activities with parents in the community to discuss the importance of girls’ education.

 

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Organization Information

Pathfinder International

Location: Watertown, MA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.pathfinder.org
Project Leader:
Amy Chapra
Watertown, MA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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