A new feature on NPR’s Goats & Soda health and development blog explores “how chickens and goats are helping to stop child marriage” in East Africa, focusing on Population Council’s years of research on the effectiveness of various interventions to empower girls and delay child marriages.
Speaking with the Council’s Ethiopia director Annabel Erulkar and community members in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, NPR’s Maanvi Singh describes the multisectoral approach the Council’s Berhane Hewan program takes to understand what works best to improve girls’ health, educational and social outcomes. The article spotlights the “keys to success” – sustained community engagement as well as the provision of livestock to families who keep their girls in school rather than married off.
“'One misperception is that child marriage is an intractable practice,’ says Annabel Erulkar, a social scientist at the Population Council who helped launch a program called Berhane Hewan in Ethiopia about 14 years ago. ‘My experience is that communities are quite open to change," she says — especially when they are presented with better alternatives.'”