PfC wants to contribute to young girls and women in Ethiopia to be given the opportunity to education, life skills training and to be included in the formal working life.
Thanks to financial support from Erna and Knut Eng’s Children Foundation, PfC has worked together with our partner, Siiqqee Women’s Development Association, to build a new girls’ center in Sebeta.
February 17th, the building could finally be opened in a grand ceremony!
Ambassador Merete Lundemo from the Norwegian embassy in Addis Ababa gave a speech and formally opened the center together with the mayor of Sebeta and senior adviser in the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs. A speech was also given by Birikit Terefe on behalf of PfC.
Among other guests at the opening were the leader of the government (Prosperity) party, the leader of Oromia Women, Children and Social Affairs, Deputy Commissioner of the Tourism Commission of Oromia and various community leaders and enthusiasts.
The new girls’ center will support the goal of giving the girls tools to build the life they dream of. At the center, vulnerable girls will have access to a safe and social place where they can receive life skills training, do homework, have access to a library and internet, café and dormitory. Here, 24 of the most vulnerable girls in the program will be able to live, around 50 girls will have access to laundry facilities, around 100 will have access to food and a total of at least 300 girls will use the center for various activities. The center also has a mentorship program where the girls are motivated for higher education and to hold leadership positions in society. Participants in the program are girls who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to complete schooling. The building will also contain a small shop where the girls can sell products they make.
Our partner Architects Without Borders has designed the building based on the needs expressed by the girls.
Erna and Knut Eng’s Children Foundation have previously supported the construction of a vocational school where girls in Sebeta get the opportunity to learn a profession and get involved in income-generating work.
Siiqqee is the name of a traditional and symbolic stick used by women to make decisions and have peace talks in their communities. The stick symbolizes power and authority for women.
Wudie, former student at Siiqqee – now working as a lawyer, praises Siiqqee:
I was on top of my class but had to stop my education after high school as my mother was sick and could not earn income. I had given up on life when Siiqqee project started recruiting and I was saved by this project.
I managed to finish high school and my law degree. Now I am a lawyer in the high court. Siqqee is my life saver and my guiding star.