Young Women Leadership at Seeds of Africa
Across the world, 66 million girls are deprived the opportunity to attend school. There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school, indicating that gender inequality is evident at the earliest of ages (Education First). Educated females are less likely to marry young and more likely to have a smaller, healthier family. They are more likely to have health care and secure more resources for their family (UNFPA). Additionally, literate mothers are 50% more likely to have a child survive past the age of five (UNESCO). Educating girls not only benefits the individual females, but entire societies. The ripple effect makes girls’ education one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty (UNFPA).
Recognizing the severity of the issue, Seeds of Africa recently launched the Young Women Leadership Program in collaboration with the University of Virginia. The female students at the Take Root Center and young women from high schools across Adama, Ethiopia are brought together to learn from each other and discuss important topics such as nutrition, menstruation, and personal hygiene. The program allows these young women to develop relationships and understand necessary issues outside of their standard curriculum. By coupling this knowledge with that of their schoolwork, Seeds of Africa is helping its female students become well rounded and prepared for the future.
The Young Women Leadership Program at Seeds is led by high school student Tsigereda, who believes that the dialogue between the high school students and Take Root students is extremely valuable. She also feels that this program helps build the self-confidence of all the young women involved and prepares them to be leaders.
Seeds of Africa understands that knowledge is power. By encouraging their students to be informed about issues outside of the classroom curriculum, Seeds is helping these young women better take care of themselves and their families. At the same time, they are giving young girls a chance for their voice to be heard and the knowledge to be informed about significant matters in their everyday lives. As the program empowers more and more girls, entire societies are being transformed.