PCI Ethiopia: Hope For Women – From Shyness to a Role Model: The Case of Saada Ahmed

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In Afar, girls’ school attendance is a recent experience. When Hope for Women project launched its program, children school attendance was low. Compared with boys, girls’ school attendance was very low. Recognizing the deep rooted traditional myth, the project in collaboration with the school community decided to reward school girls who stood 1st-3rd in their academic performance. It was a new strategy to attract girls’ school enrolment, retention and performance.

At that time, Saada Ahmed was a very shy girl attending in Grade 6 in Chifra primary (first and second cycle) school. She stood 2nd from her class, and was eligible for the award.

She received from the project 2 breeding goats as an incentive and scholastic materials like other students. This motivated her to engage more in her education and social affairs that initiated other girls to attend school. She participated in a training given by the project to students, teachers, and PTA members. After the training, the participants agreed to establish school clubs that will sensitize other students and the community about the importance of girls’ education, child rights and eradication of HTP.

In this process, Saada was one of the students who played the leading role in the establishment of three school clubs; namely: Girls club, Anti HIV/AIDS club and Mini-media club in the school. From then on, she is a vice chair person of the girls club, secretary of Anti HIV/AIDS club, and a cashier for the Mini-media club.

With all her active involvement in the three clubs, her academic performance is also very good. She prompted from grade 8 to 9 ranking 1st from all girls in the school. And her goats gave four kids. Her peers in Chifra School said, “She is our role model!”

To learn more about how you can help empower women in Ethiopia like Saada please visit: https://www.pciglobal.org/en/giving/become-a-catalyst-for-change.