Danka House, Dembidollo

Danka House, Dembidollo

As discussed before, completion rates for primary school in Ethiopia is at 52.8%. Understandably, the number of children who attend secondary education is even lower and the majority do not attend. The Daughters of Charity believe improving the levels of students taking part in secondary education would improve the prospects of the children arriving there, particularly for poorer families and girls, who are more unlikely than others to reach this level of education. A UNESCO study placed Ethiopia 126 out of 127 countries in the Education for All development index which maps gender equality in education. 39% of boys, for example, enrol in secondary education, whilst only 30% of girls do.

Ever since the Daughters of Charity was founded by St. Louise de Marillac the promotion of female rights and education has been a priority, and the Daughters in Ethiopia are no different. They’re commitment to equality means particular emphasis is placed on girls’ education and giving girls the skills and self-confidence to shape the world of tomorrow. In many places, such as the rural village of Alecu in Dembidollo, the Daughters provide socio-economic support for college and university students.

This allows many girls the opportunity to take their studies beyond primary level and reach their full potential. This is very important in rural areas where there is traditionally less education enrolment: 74.5% of girls in urban areas compared to 30.9% in rural areas go to school even at primary level. Addressing this imbalance is very important. The Abba Gebremichael support programme in Tigray provides education from ages 12-18 for children growing up in difficult circumstances – coming from poorer backgrounds, being orphaned etc.

Over 300 students are being enabled to access and continue education. Pass grades for grades 9 through 12 range from 85.5% to 97.8%, an amazing achievement which far surpasses the national average. St Mary’s in Addis Ababa offers secondary education as well as preparatory schools for University. This program services an incredible 528 people.