GIRLS GOTTA RUN FOUNDATION – Athletic Scholarship Program / Mothers’ Savings Groups
Good for Girls partners with the Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) to support their athletic scholarship program in Sodo and Bekoji, Ethiopia. The pilot initiative, which launched in the spring of 2014, started with a group of 15 secondary school girls from disadvantaged backgrounds who attended the Abba Pascal School for Girls in Sodo, Wolaita Region. Two years later, the program was expanded to Bekoji, in the Oromia Region.
The girls participate in a running team and a life skills programme (developed in collaboration with the Center for Creative Leadership Africa). Each girl receives a full year-long scholarship to alleviate financial constraints that may force her to drop out of school. The scholarships take care of daily meals, uniforms, books and tutoring, access to school clubs/library, showers and hygiene supplies, and space to wash clothes on the weekend. Scholarships also include healthcare for the girls and their mothers, running gear, fees and transport to races during the year, and oversight by a coach and running mentor. In 2016, the program extended support to the mothers of the athletic scholars by facilitating Savings and Entrepreneurship Groups to promote financial resilience.
Athletics as a national sport plays an important role and is a source of pride in Ethiopian society. Using running as an entry-point to reach out to adolescent girls is an innovative way of engaging with girls, their families and the wider community to challenge harmful gender stereotypes and practices such as early marriage.
(Photo: Girls from the GGRF Athletic Scholarship Program in Sodo, Ethiopia. Photo provided by GGRF)
CODE TO INSPIRE
Good for Girls began partnering in 2020 with Code to Inspire, Afghanistan’s first coding school for young women. Our pilot grant was allocated to purchasing high performance touchpad tablets/computers for advanced graphic design work, to kick-start a new year-long after-school programme. Additionally, we also provided an emergency COVID-19 grant which bought internet access for 4 months for 21 students so they could continue remote learning during Afghanistan’s social isolation measures.
Founded by Fereshteh Forough, a computer science professor, who studied and then taught at Herat University, CTI is a non-profit training programme that to-date has taught more than 200 young women how to code and build mobile apps and games. Over 70% of CTI’s graduates have found work, earning above-average wages in their country.
By focusing on equipping young women with technology and digital skills, CTI is challenging traditional negative attitudes towards girls’ education in Afghanistan, and empowering girls to grow expertise and get jobs in male-dominated fields, and ultimately to challenge the system of gender norms and practices that discriminate against women and girls and consider them inferior to men and boys.
(Photo: Drawing by Narges Zahed, CTI graduate. Photo provided by CTI)