Ethiopia has over 1 million primary-aged girls who are not in school. Many girls have never had a chance to go to school because of lack of money or proper school facilities, and many more are forced to drop out of school and devote their time to household chores, or to marry at a young age to ensure that they will survive.
But an education will give a girl more than survival - it will give her the chance to thrive. She will have the opportunity to create her own livelihood, defend her rights, manage her own finances, and protect herself and her children against HIV and malnutrition. She will have the resources to pull her entire family and community out of poverty. History has proven time and time again that an educated girl can change the world.
We are working to help communities understand this transformative fact by promoting girls’ education at the individual, family, and community levels. The Girls’ Empowerment Through Education Project is working to improve access to and quality of education for 5,000 school girls outside Addis Ababa.
We are constructing separate toilets for girls, hand-washing facilities, and science laboratories in schools so that girls and boys have a safe place to learn.
But we know that school is more than just a building. Through creating tutoring programs, girls’ clubs, and an annual girls’ day in schools, we are working to ensure that girls have a safe, supportive educational environment to unleash their full potential.