The Educate Girls, End Poverty program aims to overcome political, economic, and cultural norms by providing Somali girls with the opportunity to receive an education and break the cycle of chronic poverty.
Twenty years of conflict in Somalia have ruined the country’s public services and forced a generation of people from their homes. This massive displacement has cost a generation of Somali students the opportunity to receive an education and other benefits of a stable childhood.
Somalia has one of the world’s lowest enrollment rates for primary school – with fewer than 50% of all Somali girls in school.
Violence and instability, coupled with extreme poverty, are the main drivers behind low enrollment rates, forcing many families to choose to keep their girls at home instead of in school. In many areas of Somalia, parents are required to pay for their children’s school fees – a burdensome expense that many cannot afford. In addition, many families hold deeply-rooted beliefs about gender roles in the household that determine whether or not girls attend school.
In response, Relief International has implemented the Educate Girls, End Poverty program since 2013 with support from the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office and in partnership with two other development NGOs. The program aims to overcome political, economic, and cultural norms by providing Somali girls with the opportunity to receive an education and break the cycle of chronic poverty.
Relief International supports 227 schools in fragile and conflict-affected areas of Somalia’s newly formed Federal Member States of Galmudug, HirShabelle, and Benadir Regional Administration as well as schools in Puntland, and Somaliland. Our teams work hand-in-hand with girls, boys, parents, teachers, community leaders, and government ministries to devise and implement tailored interventions to provide marginalized girls a full education.