IOM Conducts Community Rallies on Girls’ Education in Gursum District– Ethiopia

Dire Dawa - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted a series of girls’ education campaigns in Gursum District, East Hararge Zone of Oromia Region, Ethiopia in the month of July 2021. The campaigns on girls’ education during COVID-19 pandemic aimed to bring awareness to the community in districts known for their smaller enrolment of girls in schools, a higher girls’ dropout rate and where both Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and host community children attend to.

“Girls are often required to help out with the house chores, they are expected to prepare food for the family, bring cultivated crops and vegetable to market, and often they are late for their education,” says Mr. Anuar Muktar, a teacher at Lugo Primary School. He is one of the participants of the campaign who took the festival as a good opportunity to bring awareness on gender inequality. Anuar explains that cultural setbacks have made it difficult for girls to participate in schools. “75% of the family responsibility rests on women and girls and this creates a major learning inequality,” he emphasized.

Besides the awareness creation activities on girls’ education, IOM has also been engaged in the rehabilitation of schools and raising awareness on COVID-19 protective protocols in Oromia and Somali regions in Ethiopia. The objective of the rehabilitation of classrooms in three schools in both Oromia and Somali regions is to reduce classroom-student ratio during the pandemic. Among such projects, the ones held in Erer District of Fafen Zone in Somali Region and Babile, and Gursum Districts of Eastern Hararge zone of Oromia regions took place in the month of July 2021.

IOM used art and literature festival, workshops and the dissemination of information materials which promote girls’ education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants included teachers, parents, students and influential figures.

To reach to a larger audience more effectively, IOM have also used targeted groups with more influence to promote the topics. “We have also organized a workshop to develop a broadcasting content for journalists to raise awareness on girls’ education to the community,” said Kubie Kebede, a National Programme Officer at IOM Dire Dawa sub office.    

“We are here to promote the need for the enrolment of girls’ education because we believe that this is the basis for women equality," said Ms. Maja Ibrahim explaining how the awareness raising is essential in her community.  

These activities were made possible through a generous funding received from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) through a special COVID-19 grant for Education project.  

For more information, contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie IOM Ethiopia, Email: salemayehu@iom.intTel: +251 911 639 082