Sponsorship Manager, Ethiopia
October 29, 2013
We left Honchie Bite excited about the progress there. On the way back to Ginchi town, we saw a young girl running from the school. My colleague told me that she was heading to Boda town where the nearest second-cycle primary school is located. We invited her to go with us to the town. She refused the ride, but was willing to discuss her situation.
Her name is Feyise. She is 16 and in grade 8. Feyise completed her first cycle of primary school at the Honchie Bite School and continues her second cycle at Boda. She runs to school and back every weekday to minimize the risk of harassment. Sometimes, she says, she joins a group of students to walk to school. Otherwise she prefers to run.
Feyise’s parents are aware of the benefit of her continuing her education. However, she notes that girls face enormous challenges in staying in school. Fear of sexual assault on the journey to school and back is one of the major challenges she mentions. Traveling in a group and running whenever she is alone are the two best alternatives she has discovered to minimize the risk. Even with all the efforts the local government and community leaders exert, Feyise is uncertain about existing protective measures. Nonetheless, she is determined to pursue her studies at any cost. No one can stop her from running!
Save the Children has been working closely with the local government to make sure all girls like Feyise are transitioning from grade 4 to 5. Supporting PTAs and local governments in upgrading schools so that all the children continue their education up to grade 8 without having to travel long and dangerous distances has been one of major strategies used. Save the Children sponsorship resources are helping to upgrade remote schools like Honchie Bite, one of the three schools benefiting from the initiative in 2013. With your help, we will be able to respond to the needs of girls in many more villages in the coming years.
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