The Big Idea
‘To change the world, invest in adolescent girls’. If an adolescent girl in Africa progresses to secondary education, stays in school, remains healthy and gains real skills, she will marry later, have fewer, healthier children and earn an income that she’ll invest back into her family and community.
In the Ejere District of Ethiopia girls from rural areas are under-represented in the one High School and are much more likely to drop out than their male counterparts. Many young people live too far away from the High School to walk there every day so they have to rent rooms in the town, which often puts girls at risk. Girls who do walk long distances to school are at risk from assault, abduction and forced early marriage. Others are kept at home for financial reasons or to help with the family
For-ethiopia has established a prototype dormitory for girls in rented property (Underhill House) near the High School in Addis Alem. Scholarships have been awarded to 20 suitable girls from outlying villages to enable them to progress to secondary education. Safe study facilities are being provided in the library at the High School in the evenings. A training and registration scheme for landlords will be set up and we will work in partnership with the local community to reduce the incidence of early marriage.