CASE STORIES

Media Campaigns in Schools: A Drama Saves the Life of a Girl
ECMP supports schools in various ways to capacitate them in their campaigns against child marriage, and this includes provision of media equipment to mini media clubs. With the support of media equipment, mini media clubs in particular employ a wide range of campaigning strategies to mobilise the local community and to bring about behavioural change. Here is a fascinating story of a young girl who has been saved from child marriage through a drama: Her name is Addis Demile. She is eighteen years old and an 8th grader at Metaya Primary School in Enarj Enawuga Woreda, East Gojam Zone. She is a member of the Girls’ Club in her school. One day she heard that her parents were planning to give her away to marriage without her knowledge and consent. She heard nothing about the marriage arrangement while her parents were making a deal with the parents of her would-be husband. Unexpectedly they informed her about the marriage arrangement and told her: “we would like to see your Adugna while we are alive.” (Adugna in Amharic means a fortune or a blessing). She recalls what happened: But I said no, even though I am aware that a child’s suggestion is not respected or taken for granted. They…
Is it really because she was not well-circumcised that she failed to submit to her would-be husband, only at the age of eight?
The woman featured in this story is 26 years old and a mother of five (three daughters and two sons). This fact itself, a mother of 5 at 26, begs the question - is she a young woman or an old lady? Her real name is Abeba Azene. Is her name merely a coincidence or a prophecy of her future fate? Abeba in Amharic means a blossom or a beautiful flower. But when it's read along with her father’s name, Azene, it unequivocally evokes a feeling of sadness, for the very meaning of her father’s name, Azene, literally means “to become sad”. Simply put, her full name reads as “a beautiful flower gets sad”. However, in spite of all that she had to shoulder at such a young age, the gentle look on her face is a witness that her blossoms, her good looks, have not yet faded away. What an amazing riddle? I found Abeba near her thatched roof, in Amarit Kebele of Mecha Woreda (FH West Gojam) making the local spirit called “areqe/አረቄ”. She was surrounded by her four loving children, while breastfeeding her youngest son, him sitting confidently on his mother’s knee - but his watchful eyes gazing at me in warily given that I was a stranger to his house.   She was first given into marriage at the tender…
A father at North Achefer cancels his daughters' marriage
Ato Abebe Gessese a resident at North Achefer, who has cancelled his daughter’s marriage due to his participation in the CC training tells his personal story: “It was my mother who urged me to give my daughter in marriage. Accordingly, I followed her instruction, accepted the proposal and decided to give my little daughter in marriage.  At the time my daughter was only one year old. I  slaughtered two oxen for the wedding, in addition to the cereal grain which amounts to ETB 10,000. Now I feel guilty of what I had done to my daughter. The reason for giving my little daughter in a marriage is a cultural influence that came from generation to generation through the lineage of my families.”
Personal Testaments from School Girls
My name is Hanna Taddesse, I am 15 years old and I am in 7th grade at Ambaye Primary School. I am a member of Girls Club in my school. In our club we discuss issues that young girls face in the school and the community. In November 2012 I was selected for Finite Hiwot’s training from Girls’ Club and participated in the training with my teachers. After I completed the training I came back to my school and shared what I have learnt from the training. Along with our teachers we have been able to conduct lots of discussions and to educate girls to protect themselves from Child marriage. What I really appreciate from the training is that it was mainly focusing of the issue of girls and women (child marriage and HTPs). On the training we also learnt about the story of Alemnesh (which is included in the school clubs manual).  Based on this story, I informed girls in my school to protect themselves from child marriage. The training also helped me for my personal development in the sense that it helped me to develop self confidence. Previously I was shy and could not express myself in front of people, but now due to the training I received, and through school club discussions, I have…
Empowering Girls through School Clubs
The ECMP School based training for the new academic year opened with a two-day Phase 1 refresher training in Bure woreda of West Gojam.  FH invited back the club members - teachers and students together - who have been with the programme since last January, and it was good to see many familiar faces and a few new ones.  Participants give evidence on how their clubs were working to end child marriage.  They reported that in some schools there is now a joint movement between the school and community to stop child marriage and 17 arranged marriages were cancelled only in one school.  All club members had cascaded training to other clubs in the school. The school clubs were also aware of the CC groups in their communities but wanted FH to facilitate closer working between CC and school clubs.  The Story of Mastewal Andargie During the training, one of the brave girls presented her poem and testimony.  Her name is Mastewal Andargie and she is 14 years old. She is 7th grader at Tiya Tiya Primary school (one of the programme’s intensive schools) in Burie Woreda. Currently she is Chair for the Mini Media Club in her school. It was in January 2013 that for the first time she took part in…

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