Education Champion Network

Amsale Mulugeta

Executive Director, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Champion since 2020
“I am the person I am because of education. I have to give back what I was privileged to have to give back to the community. That's why I'm still working.”
Mobilising governments and communities to address barriers like child marriage and unsafe school conditions

The Issue

Overcrowded classes, unsatisfactory bathrooms, lack of textbooks and low-performing teachers in Ethiopia’s schools create inadequate learning conditions for girls. As a result, parents don’t see educating their daughters as worthwhile and instead choose to marry them off, believing it is a better way to secure their future. In rural communities, girls must walk long distances to school and fear of harassment or violence during their walks also causes parents to keep their daughters at home.

Amsale’s approach

Policy Reform

Amsale’s father worked at a school in Ethiopia and insisted she enrol despite being the only girl in her class. Most girls her age were married, but her father wanted more for her future. “One day you’ll be working for the Ministry of Education and will do right for all those who need it,” he said. As executive director for ESD, Amsale works to do just that: helping girls stay in school by combatting child marriage and lobbying the government to improve conditions for girls in schools. 

With her Malala Fund grant, Amsale will devise community action plans for governments, communities and religious institutions to help them address barriers that keep girls out of school such as enacting laws that restrict child marriage. She will also encourage the national education board to take into account gender when creating policies and improve educational opportunities for girls in rural communities by increasing the number of trained teachers, upgrading school sanitation facilities and building more secondary schools. Amsale will also advocate at the national and regional level to raise awareness about the importance of girls’ education.

More about Amsale

There are 2 other Education Champions working in Ethiopia.