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Approximately one in eight of the world’s population is a girl or young woman aged 10–24 and attention is increasingly focusing on the central role of adolescent girls in achieving global health and development goals. Areas of focus by the development field include girls’ education, health, child marriage, and the experience of violence. This study analyzes the educational and health impacts of a program for slum-dwelling girls, including child domestic workers and rural-urban migrants. Established in 2006, Biruh Tesfa (Bright Future) aimed to increase social networks and support for the most marginalized girls in the poorest urban areas of Ethiopia. In 2013, Powering Up Biruh Tesfa was a new initiative to expand the Biruh Tesfa model in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, and focus attention on measuring learning and health outcomes. This report provides information on the longitudinal study of girls residing in the expansion sites of Biruh Tesfa and in comparable areas where the program was not implemented. Results indicate that safe spaces platforms can be instrumental in engaging even the most marginalized and isolated girls in both the education and health sectors, while improving learning outcomes.






Biruh Tesfa (“Bright Future”)