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Partnering with Angelique Kidjo to help Ethiopian girls stay in school

Ethiopia, September 22, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Flickr, courtesy of &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.flickr.com/photos/angeliquekidjo&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Angelique Kidjo&lt;/a&gt;  </span>
    Angelique Kidjo is a Grammy award-winning singer and global philanthropist. Photo: Flickr, courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/angeliquekidjo" target="_blank">Angelique Kidjo</a>

Starting today, there will be more educational opportunities for young women in some of southern Ethiopia's poorest villages.

At today's Clinton Global Initiative 2010 Annual Meeting in New York City, Mercy Corps will stand up alongside Grammy Award-winning music recording artist Angelique Kidjo and long-time supporter Melissa Waggener Zorkin to announce a commitment to helping Ethiopian girls stay in school. This new program, which we're calling Empowering Ethiopian Girls for Peaceful Change, will give at least 800 young women the chance attend secondary school and help support them until they graduate.

The program will also provide vocational training, loans and other economic incentives to help mothers in southern Ethiopia's Konso and Derashe districts increase household income so that they can send their daughters to school.

It's an investment that we believe will go a long way toward building peace and prosperity in some of Ethiopia's most isolated and impoverished villages. So thank you, Angelique and Melissa for your vision, generosity and partnership on this important cause.

You also can read a story about the situation in southern Ethiopia and see a photo essay showing some of the villages where we're working.