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2013 – Ethiopia

Achieving Inclusive Girls’ Education in Ethiopia

Partner: Right To Play


This project uses the power of sport to improve the learning environment for children. It mobilizes communities in support of their commitment to educating children, with a particular focus on girls. In partnership with the Ministry of Education and local government, Right To Play will integrate play-based learning methodologies in identified schools of the woreda (district) of Wuchale in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.

60 million girls’ support of $100,000 will enable Right To Play to:

    • Engage 2,500 children (1,500 girls) in regular, structured play-based experiential learning activities focused on positive healthy behaviours.
    • Train 50 teachers to facilitate these activities and incorporate participatory learning techniques in their classrooms.
    • Engage communities around 2 identified schools on the importance of girls’ education and supportive practices.


Challenges to girls’ education in Ethiopia are known and documented. Poverty, lack of facilities, distances to school and perceptions on education are all detracting factors, and the dynamics of these issues are complex. However, in simplest terms, only 1 in 5 girls starting primary school will complete it as planned. Further, research shows that a girls’ vulnerability to educational exclusion is highest from the ages of 11 to 14. Sexual maturity is pivotal. With puberty come the age of sexual debut, pressures towards early (and forced) marriage, and social differentiation at school, to name but a few.

Wuchale is home to over 110,000 people, 45% of whom are children. It is rural, characterized by subsistence agricultural livelihoods and strong traditional values. The population’s access to social services is inadequate and still is considered one of the lowest by the country’s standards.

Project objectives

Children participating in this program will benefit from increased knowledge of healthy practices and strengthened life skills. Regular participation has been demonstrated to strengthen peer networks and improve the social environment of school – contributing to reduced dropout. Integrating the program of training teachers as coaches within the school system leads to improved teaching practices and reduced dropout. Communities connect with the program both through outreach activities and through the school management.


      • By training teachers on Right To Play methodologies and resources, the quality of teaching will improve.
      • Female teacher coaches will be supported with further technical training on counselling.
      • Engaging communities around the importance of girls’ education will reinforce supportive environments.
      • Through regular participation, children will share experiences and learn about healthy living.
      • Messages about hygiene, HIV, and reproductive health will be selected from appropriate content. Participation develops life skills that will enable putting this knowledge into practice.


      • The learning environment will be more supportive of children’s participation.
      • The social environment of the school will strengthen peer networks.
      • The creation of and links to “Girls’ Clubs” will be formed at the participating schools.
      • Structural links to social support services will be set in place.


    • Reduced dropout, specifically of girls in the last half of the primary school.

Why partner with Right To Play?

Right to Play (RTP) has been implementing child-centered, experiential learning programs using a sport and play-based methodology for more than 11 years. It has carried out education-based programming in more than 25 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, reaching an average of 700,000 children and youth each week.

RTP has expertise working in both informal and formal educational environments, its goal being to enable marginalized children to engage in and complete quality formal education. Teachers are trained in pedagogical methods and curriculum development through a training program. They then carry out these methods in their classrooms, either integrated into existing curricula using the new methodologies or as complements to the existing school day structure. Learning takes places in both classroom and informal settings. Through the activities of the program, emphasis is placed on the inclusion of vulnerable populations and girls in all aspects of its implementation. Consistent in all programming is the development of essential life skills. By participating in these programs, children and youth gain basic life skills to adopt attitudes and behaviours such as personal responsibility and commitment, empathy, resiliency, decision-making, communication, team-building and readiness to learn – each essential for success in education environments.

Right To Play aims to empower girls, boys, women and men through education to create a more balanced and just world. In particular, Right To Play understands that achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women are the responsibility of all actors across all sectors. The first priority for the development of girls’ education is to provide quality ‘Basic Education for All’, which must allow girls not only to acquire knowledge, but also life skills as part of a holistic educational process that also addresses key health issues. This requires the collaborated efforts of organizations, such as Right To Play and the 60 million girls Foundation, working toward similar goals.