Overcoming to Learn in Ethiopia


Due to a lack of sanitation facilities in their school, girls were missing as many as 60 days a year in Wonchi, Ethiopia.

Each day, millions of girls around the world can’t step into a classroom. Instead, neglect, abuse, and poverty create seemingly insurmountable barriers to their education, resulting in about 496 million women who can’t read and write today. World Vision works in nearly 100 countries to help girls overcome these barriers so they can attend school, improve their lives, and help advance their communities.

At Kurfo Gute School in Wonchi, Ethiopia, girls no longer miss several days of school each month. The school grounds used to be littered with feces, as it was an open defecation zone; school children would relieve themselves wherever they pleased. Girls tried to find a place in the forest, but during their menstrual cycles they didn’t come to school. They missed three to five school days every month—as many as 60 days a year—due to a lack of sanitation facilities in their school. World Vision helped, and now with latrines, training, and appropriate water, sanitation, and hygiene programs for the children, attendance rates and grades have both soared.

Written by Kristy J. O'Hara

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