Bursaries keep Somali girls in school in Borama

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Ifraax Haybe oo 20 jir ah waxay ku faraxsan tahay waxbarashada laga taageeray/Cabdalla Cali Yuusuf/Ergo Photo | Ifrah Haybe, 20, dreams of going to university/Abdalla Ali Yusuf /Ergo

Radio Ergo 11 October, 2016 BOORAMA


(ERGO) - Ifrah Haybe Ahmed, 20, is happy to be back in the classroom at Aden Ishak high school in Borama with a bursary from a project supporting girls’ education.

In August 2015, she was chosen as one of 245 girls aged 10 to 22 for financial aid from the ‘Educate Girls, End Poverty’ project (EGEP), implemented by ADRA in conjunction with Somaliland’s ministry of education in Awdal and funded by DFID.

Ifrah had spent two years at home because her uncle, who had been paying her school fees from the earnings from his shop since 2007, suddenly ran into difficulties.  She is from a poor rural family of 10 children living in the remote area of Dibbiraweyn, 37 km northeast of Borama. Her parents were not able to afford her fees.

“When someone is willing to help support your education it puts you back on an equal footing with others your age. Now I have some hope back and I have my own goals that keep me determined to continue my education,” Ifrah said.

Hodan Roble Hassan, a local education ministry official, said EGEP was being implemented in 22 schools in Awdal region. There are 55 girls in high school receiving a bursary of $125 a month and 190 girls in primary school receiving $100 a month.  Girls in rural areas are also given a solar lamp.

The girls supported by the project are more vulnerable than most because they are poor, disabled, orphaned or from drought-displaced pastoralist homes.

“I am able to pay my monthly school fee of $10 from the grant I receive as well as to buy all the other items and materials I need for my education like books and stationery. The money also helps me to cover my other living needs,” said Ifrah Haybe, now in her third year.

After she finishes high school, she hopes to go to university and get job that will enable her to bring her siblings from the rural area to town so that they can also access schools.

The ministry is keeping track of the girls in the project and assessing the ongoing challenges. According to Hodan, five of the first girls awarded bursaries have dropped out of school to get married.  Each school has a trained female teacher who follows the progress of the girls and their situation at home.

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