The TESFA Project: Empowering Ethiopian Child Brides

The groundbreaking program, “Towards Economic and Sexual Reproductive Health Outcomes for Adolescent Girls” or TESFA, sought to improve the lives of 5,000 child brides ages 10 to 19, in Ethiopia’s rural Amhara region. Implemented by CARE-Ethiopia over three years and evaluated by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), TESFA sought to mitigate the effects of child marriage. It also provided opportunities for married adolescent girls – who are among the most marginalized members of society – to participate in the social, economic, and political life of their families and communities.

ICRW assessed the impact of TESFA on the lives of these girls, particularly as it related to their sexual and reproductive health and economic empowerment. Researchers ultimately found that the program helped to greatly better many aspects of the girls’ lives and even yielded a few unexpected, positive outcomes. Read more in the report, “Improving the Lives of Married Adolescent Girls in Amhara, Ethiopia – A Summary of the Evidence.” 

Below are links to stories, blogs, and other content about the TESFA program.


New ICRW Report: Groundbreaking Program Improves Lives of Ethiopian Child Brides (April 2014)

ICRW Photovoice Exhibition on Display at USAID (Nov. 2013)

Out of the Shadows: Child Marriage in Ethiopia (A story series, Oct. 2012):


Using Photography to Evaluate Project Impact (Nov. 2013)

Child Brides – We Cannot Afford to Ignore Their Plight (Sept. 2013)

Changing the Course for Child Brides in Ethiopia (June 2013)

What to Consider When Designing Gender-Responsive Program Evaluations (June 2013)

Beyond the Classroom (April 2013)

The Gatekeeper (Oct. 2012)

A Poignant Reminder (April 2012)

Eyes That Haunt (Jan. 2012)

Transformations (June 2011)

Rare Friendships (Dec. 2010)

Quiet Determination (Oct. 2010)

Media Coverage and Multimedia:

Photovoice (photography by TESFA participants)

InterAction’s Leave #No1Behind Spreecast

Jeff Edmeades Discusses Child Marriage on BBC Radio

Inside the Tragic World of Ethiopia’s Child Brides (The Daily Beast)

Voices from Ethiopia (video)

Child Marriage: Denying Girls’ Rights, Perpetuating Poverty