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    |SODO ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP|GGRF launched the Athletic Scholarship Program in Sodo, Ethiopia in the spring of 2014 with the support of two partners, the Abba Pascal School for Girls and the Center for Creative Leadership.

    Today, the Sodo Athletic Schoalrship Program provides a team of 60 girls with Athletic Schoalrships and funds 15 students in the GGRF Alumni Program who graduated from the Athletic Scholarship Program. The GGRF Athletic Scholarship Program provides full scholarships for girls in grades 5-7 to attend school. participate in our running program and complete the GGRF/CCL life skills curriculum. Upon graduating from this 3 year program, GGRF Atheltic Scholars enter the Alumni Program where they recieve academic support to complete their education through grade 10, the year in which they can formally enter the job market in Ethiopia.

    •       The creation of a safe space like this running team reduces girls’ sense of isolation and increases their self-esteem and capacity to assert their right to choose when to marry.
    •      GGRF’s implementation of the life skills program co-developed by the Center for Creative Leadership, USAID and GGRF delivers crucial information to the girls through experiential learning modules on community service, leadership, creative expression, healthy relationships, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and financial literacy.
    •      Education scholarships eliminate any financial restraints the girl and her family may face in keeping her enrolled in secondary school.

    The team of 60 girls meets three times a week (Monday, Thursday and Saturday) after school and in the morning on Saturday. During the school week, girls attend class, participate in the hour to hour and a half long practice after school and receive a snack. On Saturday, the girls meet for two hours in the morning. One hour is spent doing athletic training and the second hour is spent eating a meal as a team and conducting the lifeskills workshop for the week. Program participants complete the GGRF/CCL life-skills program after one school year and continue to be scholarship recipients for the remaining two years. Mentorship and leadership opportunities are made available to participants who have completed the lifeskills program and are interested in further developing their skills.

    Watch the video above to learn more about the GGRF Athletic Scholarship Program in Sodo and the GGRF/CCL Life Skills Curriculum.

    The provision of safe spaces through running and secondary school scholarships work together to eliminate the threat of early marriage, the concern for the safety of the girl while attending school and the financial challenge in keeping her in higher levels of education. The participation of girls in safe spaces and running has proven to have a positive impact on their self-esteem, access to health resources, social inclusion, and identification of female role models. Combined with the delivery of the GGRF/CCL life skills program, the girls will graduate from the program after successfully navigating the challenges posed to them during their most vulnerable period of life and having developed the skills needed to secure a healthy and prosperous future for themselves.

    Abba Pascal School for Girls: In Sodo, Ethiopia, unemployment and sub-unemployment is above 60% of the active population. Many of the daily workers in Sodo make less than 1.25 USD per day.  The Abba Pascal School was founded in 1933. Since then, the school has seen an increase in students attending as well as a decrease in the number of students dropping out.

    In 2009, the dropout rate for Abba Pascal Girls’ School was 12%, in line with the rest of the country. Today the drop out rate has been reduced to 3.18%.  All of the girls who attended the school through 12th grade, are now attending university courses. GGRF is excited to partner with the Abba Pascal School to provide strong academic scholarships for girls from disadvantaged communities in Sodo, Ethiopia.

    Center for Creative Leadership (CCL): The CCL Africa Office is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and has offered to collaborate with GGRF to co-create the experiential learning modules on community service, leadership, creative expression, healthy relationships, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and financial literacy that will serve as the life-skills component of the GGRF athletic scholarship. The curriculum will build off of learning modules developed by the CCL and USAID for girls in Ethiopia.


    $600 or $50/month provides a year-long athletic scholarship for a girl in Sodo, Ethiopia. The Scholarship includes:

    • Full Scholarship to attend secondary school, including healthcare for student and her mom, daily meals, uniform, books, tutoring, access to school clubs and library, showers and space to wash clothes on the weekend.
    • Completion of the GGRF/CCL Life Skills Curriculum developed to create safe spaces for girls and provide experiential learning modules on family planning, financial literacy, HIV/AIDS awareness, nutrition, healthy relationships, leadership, and creative expression.
    • Running clothes, shoes and healthy snacks for the year
    • Entrance and transportation to Ethiopian races throughout the year
    • Oversight of a coach and running mentor

    GGRF matches sponsors with a girl participating in the GGRF Sodo Program and their donation will provide her with a year-long Athletic Scholarship. As an Athletic Scholarship Sponsor, you will receive updates, photos and infomration on how the girl you are sponsring in progressing in the GGRF Athletic Scholarship Program.

    For more information, please contact Thank you!

    Meet the people that make this program possible:

    Tizzazu, Abba Pascal Girls School Assistant Administrator

    Fasica Gebre Michael, Sodo Athletic Scholarship Life Skills Program Mentor

    Tadesse Bantero, Sodo Athletic Scholarship Program Coach

    Photos by Marie Claire Andrea