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.