Vancouver, Canada; 17 November 2015  – Vancouver-based charity imagine1day today announced a new initiative to tackle child marriage in more than 100 communities in Ethiopia, thanks to funding from the Embassy of Canada to Ethiopia and Government of Canada.

The project – End Early Marriage and Let Girls Learn – will see imagine1day’s on-the-ground team train local leaders on the consequences of early marriage, strengthen Girls Clubs and provide adult literacy education for women. More than 6000 people will receive direct training, and thousands more engaged in a series of community meetings at 103 schools.

“Early marriage remains a barrier to providing Ethiopian girls with an education and the possibilities that an education unlocks,” says Seid Aman, imagine1day’s Ethiopian Country Director.

“We’re committed to providing all Ethiopians with access to quality education, free of foreign aid, by 2030, and combating this outdated tradition is vital to achieving our goal.”

The legal age of marriage in Ethiopia is 18 years for both genders, however rural traditions lead to a continued prevalence of early marriage, with 16 percent of girls married before the age of 15, and 41 percent married by the time they are 18.

Mr Aman said imagine1day’s position as a direct implementer meant it was uniquely placed to tackle the issue.

“Education for Ethiopians is at the heart of what we do, and that doesn’t just mean educating the young. We’ll be working with religious leaders, influential elders and the wider community to educate them on the value of girls’ education and the consequences of early marriage.

“As direct implementers, our on-the-ground Ethiopian team is well-placed to tackle this cultural tradition and banish it to the dustbin of history where it deserves to be.”

The Embassy of Canada to Ethiopia and Government of Canada is supporting the project with CAD$39,958.

About imagine1day

imagine1day is an international development organization enabling primary education in Ethiopia and is distinctive in its approach, which holds leadership development as a key element of program implementation. The organization’s program activities include school construction, in depth teacher training, and capacity building with its direct partners in the rural communities in Ethiopia, ensuring self-sustainability every step of the way.