In some of the communities in Ethiopia where the Costa Foundation has built high schools; the practice of forced marriage for young girls has been going on for almost 700 years. This can mean that as soon as a girl reaches puberty she is often considered "ready" for marriage, often to an older man in a nearby village. Some of the girls we have met on our visits had been married at the age of 13. 

Through the power of education and in particular the extra curriculum lessons on gender equality that are practiced in all of our Ethiopian schools, the tradition of forced marriage has been completely abolished in 2 of our communities. 


These 5 girls are the leaders of the Gender Equality club at Kilenso Mekonisa

Meeting the Elders of the tribes at Adame Yirgacheffe and Kilenso Mekonisa in 2015, the trustees were truly impressed with how these communities had changed this old practice within a 4 year period. This really does verify the importance of education for young girls in rural Ethiopia.


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