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Changing girls’ lives through the Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC)

Through the Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC), UKAID is supporting a million of the world’s poorest girls to improve their lives through education. CHADET, partnered with ChildHope UK, is implementing this Challenge in the two biggest regions of Ethiopia: Amhara and Oromia. Since 2013 they have been identifying and supporting the most marginalised girls to access quality education at primary and secondary level, and to overcome common risk factors of early marriage, economic migration, street life and domestic labour.

A survey done by ChildHope UK (2012;2014) showed that about 60 per cent of the married girls in Ethiopia is unhappy in their marriage and from the unhappy married girls, 50 per cent gave ‘missed education opportunities’ as the main reason for their unhappiness. Furthermore, 29 per cent of the respondents gave domestic chores as a major reason for missing school. 96 per cent of the girls spent up to eight hours a day on the chores.

 

In rural Ethiopia CHADET identifies girls who are at risk of dropping out of school for these reasons and supports them as well as their vulnerable parents, who are very often single mothers. By providing the costs of the girl’s education, increase the understanding of the value of girls’ education in the community, and supporting a mother’s ability to earn money, it becomes much more likely that the girl can not only stay in school but succeed there.

 

 

Education is really changing girls around here. I have an older daughter who didn’t go to school, and Banchi, my youngest daughter that did go to school, thinks for herself more than she does. Our relatives will say to
Banchi,
‘When are you going to get married?’ and she’ll say to them, ‘It’s none of your business’.
She just wants to finish her education.”- Alemwork, beneficiary mother of CHADET

 

 

 

Apart from financially supporting the girls’ access to education, CHADET supports and organizes other activities to enable long-term, lasting change in the community and beyond. For instance, teachers are supported to provide intensive academic tutorials as well as broader care and support for targeted girls, Girls Clubs are organized where girls can discuss their problems with each other and receive Life Skills classes and saving groups and business loans are being organized for the mothers of the girls.

 

At the end of 2015, just over half way through its four year funding cycle, the impact of CHADET's GEC project can be told in numbers:
· 18,290 girls enrolled as GEC beneficiaries

· 48 schools supported with classroom and learning materials including reading corners

· 88 Letter Link boxes installed to support children to report abuse or risks

· 16,889 girls receiving scholastic materials

· 12,688 girls received academic tutorials

· 51 self help and savings groups set up for parents struggling to keep girls in school

· 797 parents supported through savings groups and business loans

· 300 Community Conversations held to promote the value of girls’ education (through 30
groups with more than 2100 members)

· 48 GEC committees established at community level

About CHADET

CHADET is an indigenous non-governmental organization that works to improve the lives of marginalized children in Ethiopia

by providing access to quality education and improving livelihood opportunities.