Zumra Yasin, 17, lives in Amhara, Ethiopia. Although currently in grade 10, Zumra told her mother that she was considering economic opportunities abroad and was planning to migrate for work. During this time, Zumra’s mother attended a community conversation group which was implemented in collaboration with a peer educator and Freedom Fund partner Beza Posterity Development Organisation (BPDO).
BPDO is a non-profit organisation that strives to support women to improve their socioeconomic wellbeing through its programs on sexual and reproductive health, socioeconomic empowerment, agriculture, youth leadership and environmental protection. With the Freedom Fund’s support, BPDO is implementing a project in Amhara aimed at promoting safer migration of Ethiopian women and girls through community education, skills training and pre-departure language classes.
During the community conversation, Zumra’s mother heard about the challenges and risks faced by those using illegal migration routes. When her mother returned home from the community conversation, she informed Zumra of what she had learned; including the pros and cons of migration and the adverse effects of unsafe migration. She also told Zumra that she should attend a peer-based small group session that was being conducted at the school. Through these activities, Zumra decided to wait to migrate to the Middle East until she was able to do so safely and legally.
Based on Zumra’s experience with BPDO, she reported the following:
“I would like to say thanks to Beza Posterity Development Organisation for giving me this great chance to participate in the peer-based education and [explaining] bad and good things associated with unsafe migration and safer migration, respectively, and also mak[ing] my life better than ever before. I hope our country Ethiopia will be great and can eradicate/stop unsafe migration or can reduce the lives of individuals lost associated with illegal migration through such peer based and community conversation sessions”.
The Freedom Fund’s Ethiopia hotspot supports efforts to reduce the vulnerability of migrants and returnee women and girls to trafficking to the Middle East for domestic work. Read more about our hotspot here.
Pictured: Zumra, 17, peer-based education participant.
Photo credit: BPDO/Freedom Fund