PinK: P in K means Power in Knowledge and that is our mission to the girls of Bahir Dar, Northern Ethiopia.
Problem: Around the world girls face barriers to education that boys simply do not such as a lack of community support for female education and traditional cultural expectations that do not give girls the opportunity to complete their education and become the women they were created to be. This is particularly evident in many developing countries such as Ethiopia. For example, only 20-30% of Ethiopian girls complete high school, compared to 75% of boys.
What does this mean?: Girls educational issues is not just a human rights issue, but an economic issue as well. When girls are not educated, it not only affects women in that country, or their families, but it also keeps the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in that country from performing to the level it could because half the work-force is under-utilized. Girls education is one of the simplest and most powerful avenues to bring developing countries out of poverty. Further, when you educate a girl, you break that cycle of poverty for that family in one generation.
Solution: While no easy task, PinK Girl Ethiopia believes there is a way forward. Specifically, PinK Girl Ethiopia provides educational assistance, academic coaching, and life skills in order to graduate high school and attend a national university. Our university girls tell us that the Life Skills classes have given them the tools to persevere when 60% of girls leave the university before graduation. We have 100% of our university girls still moving towards graduation.
How: PinK Girl Ethiopia provides:
– 6 Academic counseling classes every Saturday throughout the School year,in class sizes of only 15 girls, in Math,Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Written and Spoken English.
– 12 Life skills classes each school year that include self-esteem, assertiveness, coping with stress, decision making, friendship formation, coping with emotions, conflict resolution, self-awareness, empathy, and effective communication.
– Family visits that create a partnership with our girl’s families.We explain our program and request their assistance in Saturday attendance and life skills attendance on a weekday afternoon.
– A computer lab, reading room and personal mentoring.
– Summer English Camp and extra summer programs for our girls and returning university alumni.
Metrics & Proven Success: Today PinK Girl Ethiopia supports over 250 girls in Northern Ethiopia from 7th to 12th grades attending government schools. Our success rate for the 2016/17 school year is 90% of our PinkGirls passed their exams promoting them to the next grade, compared to the national female average less than 50%. As of January 2017 we have over 65 girls in the Ethiopian national universities. In 2011 we began with 15 girls and a dream to assist girls in moving ahead in their education. We believed that this would defy the statistics that only 30% of Ethiopian girls pass high school. Four years in a row, all of our 12th grade Pink Girls passed the National Exam and attend the university.The PinK Girl alumni return to us during their summer break to assist us with mentoring the girls and creating an English Camp.
Criteria: The criteria is NEED and DESIRE. The girls must be unable to afford tutoring on their own and she must want an educational future. We interview the girls and make family visits to assure this criteria is met. Our class limit is 15 girls so they experience a small interactive classroom of girls rather than the 60-80 mixed gender classes in the government schools.
NGO Status: We are registered as Pink Girl Ethiopia for NGO status with the Ministry of Education, Women Affairs Ministry and the Ministry of Charities.
When you educate a girl, you deter child marriage and you break the cycle of poverty in one generation. Children born to educated mothers are twice as likely to survive past age 5. An educated girl will have fewer children and their children will have the value of an education for girls.
Julie Kay Field, Executive Director
PinK Girl Teachers and Lead Staff