AYDA Ethiopia

AYDA has been gradually exploring and networking with local NGOs in Addis Ababa after a visit in January 2019.  Ethiopia is a nation in dire need of funding for better education, especially in its rural areas where even pens and pencils are scarce. 

Challenges and Barriers to Education and Youth Development in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has a population of about 114 million and 48% of the population are children below the age of 19 years old. Just under one third of the population live below the national poverty line of USD0.60 per day. In terms of the Global Youth Development Index of 2016, Ethiopia ranks 131 overall and 170 in terms of its education ranking.

 The 2004 National Youth Policy in Ethiopia provides a policy framework for youth development and education. Education in Ethiopia is divided into two levels:

  • Primary school education consists of two cycles: grades 1 to 4 and grades 5 to 8; 

  • Secondary schools also have two cycles: grades 9 to 10 and grades 11 to 12. 

Ethiopia has made considerable progress in education over the past 10 years with primary school enrollments tripling and youth (aged 15 – 24 years) literacy rates up to 69.5% as of 2015. However

Ethiopia’s schools have high drop-out rates and the world’s third-largest out-of school-population – with 2.6 million primary-school aged children out of school.For example, 18% of grade 1 children drop out of school. Primary school attendance is 71%, dropping significantly to only 18% attending secondary school – with large urban-rural disparities.

Furthermore, many of Ethiopia’s schools lack basic facilities, well trained teachers and educational learning materials.


Gender inequality and gender disparities affect school attendance and drop-outs of girls. These include the fact that 40% of girls are married before the age of 18 (and 6 million married before the age of 15). In certain areas like the Amhara region, the child marriage rates are among the highest in the world with around 56% of girls married before 18 years and one in four having given birth before the age of 18. Girls are also particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence and female genital mutilation. 

The school which AYDA would be liaising with is in Amhara and Tigray regions of Ethiopia, which have a severe lack of writing materials (pens, pencils, ink) for all students, among other challenges which it faces.

Reducing Poverty Through Education - and How

An example by Global Partnership for Education:

“The Global Partnership for Education is exclusively dedicated to giving more children in the poorest countries, especially girls, the education they need to unlock their full potential.

As a partnership and a fund, GPE mobilizes global and national investments and brings partners together to help governments build strong education systems, based on data and evidence.

Our approach

We have adopted a 4-step approach to ensure that a project in Ethiopia is consistent with our mission and objective as a nonprofit NGO.

Identify a need:

Insufficient supply of pens, pencils and other writing utensils for youth in education. This has been confirmed by multiple sources within Ethiopia, but a community and NGO has not yet been selected.


We are still researching and reaching out to communities.  We must better understand the community before we can explore viable solutions.

Explore solutions:

Collaboration with the community and local NGOs and ministry is in progress.


This cannot be achieved until community is prepared.  At this time, communities in vast areas of Ethiopia are in survival-focused mentalities and cannot yet support a solution implemented.  AYDA is monitoring the ongoing civil war in Ethiopia closely.