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Gates Foundation

They might look like five teenagers goofin' around, but these girls are up to something big in Ethiopia.

They're a pop music group. They are a talk show. They are a radio drama. They are a huge teen brand that reaches 5 million listeners in their country. They are a way of life.


They are Yegna.

(And I want to be them when I grow up.)

Yegna means "Ours" in Amharic, and the group is all about empowering girls.

They aren't your typical teenage stars. They are girls on a mission to change their country.

They think it's time that girls are finally a focus in Ethiopia.

They have been left out and looked down upon for far too long.

The stats show how much it's needed. Out of the 9 million girls living in Ethiopia:

  • 1 in 3 Ethiopian girls can't read.
  • 1 in 3 don't even get to go to school.
  • 1 in 5 say they don't have a single friend.
  • 2 out of 3 women believe that wife-beating is justified.

That's a big chunk of the population missing out on education and lacking in self-esteem and the resources needed to be the smartest, most awesomest humans they can be.

Yegna knows that girls are Ethiopia's biggest untapped resource. And they're kicking butt at reaching them.

The group produces, edits, and stars in a weekly radio drama and talk show that is broadcasted to 5 MILLION people.

Each girl takes on a different personality and uses storylines that confront real-life issues and challenges that girls face every day — things like self-confidence, sexual harassment, taking care of yourself, following your dreams, and hitting the books. Oh, and they sing too.

Click play to listen to one of their catchy songs:

They say that to change things for girls, you have to speak to everyone.

With over 10,000 groups of people who get together to listen to them each week, they're off to a great start.

And girls aren't the only ones tuned in.

The boys and their elders are into Yegna too.


Check out Yenga for yourself:

I don't think this is the last you'll be hearing from them. This might actually just be the beginning.

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