Happy International Women’s Day!!

It might be called Intl Women’s Day, and while we women love to be made to feel special, what today really is about is gender equality. It’s about leveling the playing field for women and girls, about stepping up to stop gender-based discrimination, bias and injustic45097843_1867482513330069_8399529444703731712_o

And that’s where YOU come in.

You stepped up to help us give disadvantaged girls a better chance to get an education and learn important life skills. So today is for you. Thank you for being a champion for women and girls  – it’s what makes this day so meaningful.

And now… here’s a quick update from our partner Girls Gotta Run in Ethiopia. A few months ago, we told you about the mothers of the athletic scholars in Bekoji .* We told you about how the program is also helping the girls’ moms, through a Savings Group, where they get together once a week to save money and learn from each other about entrepreneurship. The moms were hoping to set up a shop in the local market so they could sell their goods collectively and ensure a steady income.

Well…THEY DID IT! The Mothers’ Shop was launched at the end of 2018, and it’s been doing really well. The moms work in shifts and often bring their little kids along as well. And the collective income they’re earning is far more than what they would have earned on their own.

As the head of the Bekoji Town Women’s and Children’s Affairs Office said: ” The women started saving from scratch and grew into a strong social enterprise. They created their own jobs. Many of the mothers had nothing when they started in the savings group, and now two years later they have started a business together. They can now sell their goods everyday instead of only on market days.”

*In 2015, GGRF (with support from us) started an Athletic Scholarship programme in Bekoji where girls participate on a running team, and complete a life skills and leadership curriculum. The median marriage age in Bekoji is 15, so adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to being taken out of school and married off. The scholarships help remove financial pressures on families and encourage more positive attitudes towards girls’ education and delayed marriage. The girls complete the program after 3 years armed with skills and knowledge to better tackle challenges they may face as they grow into adults.
Pics by @wolfferine, courtesy of GGRF