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Tibeb Girls Program

TV animation series with adolescent superhero girls, targets out of school & marginalized girls to improve their learning and re-enrollment.

Photo of Brukty Tigabu
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What problem does your innovation solve?

We will solve the attitudinal resistance and/or unwillingness to educate girls and lack of engaging, relevant educational supplementary materials.Target areas are remote with prolonged drought. Girls are marginalized by low awareness of need for girls’ education a early marriage and dependence on girls’ labour for economics/household chores. Schools are often under resourced and lack of quality supplementary materials in mother-tongue language.

Explain your innovation.

Tibeb Program includes: TV animation series, Alternative Basic Education supplementary books development/distribution, teacher training on methodology/materials use and community mobilization. Series features 3 Ethiopian, adolescent superheroes leading audience on a fun, suspenseful, learning journey facing real-life challenges and provide courageous, life-enhancing solutions. We create a conducive environment through curriculum aligned supplementary books and traine teachers to re-enroll girls who stay engaged. Tibeb Program provides an entertaining way for all community members to engage in stimulating discussion on the value of women/girls, importance of their education, and its positive impact on the community. Tibeb Girls clubs and their ambassadors play a key role in ensuring sustainability. Our collaboration with Oromia Regional Broadcasting Agency adds sustainability with broadcasts of Tibeb series for wider reach and reuse for subsequent years. The Tibeb Girls content and style of production appeals far beyond Oromia Region and can be broadcast throughout the country and continent with appropriate language dubbing. Licensing to broadcasters, Ad revenue and Character merchandise could generate money to sustain future production development. Supplementary book production will be produced in support of existing curriculum and can be used in many provinces of the region/throughout the country after doing the language adaptations.

Who benefits?

Beneficiaries are in underserved districts in Bale/Oromia Region of Ethiopia; 93% speak Afan Oromo. Area has low enrollment in primary school ( 66%) and a high dropout rate (over 30%).The beneficiaries live in poor drought-affected area, 27.1% of 10-18 year olds are married, normally staying out of school permanently. Focus is on 1,000 adolescent girls lacking basic literacy/numeracy skills. Collaboration with Oromia Education Bureau ensures that positive results will cause the Bureau to scale program in all woredas throughout region. Success here suggests the program will be repeated in other regions. It is measured by: number of engaging supplementary materials created and distributed, number of Alternative Basic Education classes run consistently in collaboration with Education Bureau, number of girls ABE-enrolled or re-enrolled in regular schools via Tibeb Program, increased self-esteem, confidence and knowledge of girls/ improved community attitude towards girls education.

How is your innovation unique?

Whiz Kids Workshop is the first and only children’s educational media company in Ethiopia, recipients of numerous international awards for tackling previously unaddressed social issues in health/education. Tibeb Girls animation TV series and comic books is also first to portray girls as powerful, bold, intelligent, empathic, brave role models challenging: early marriage, fgm, and barriers to girls’ education. Other media and NGO efforts intended to support girls and tutoring programs haven’t come together as one unified project. Tibeb Program is distinctive because we integrate all efforts for maximum impact and sustainability. Create entertaining/engaging media materials that motivate and build confidence/ inspires them to learn/stimulates community conversations. Curriculum enhancement/teacher training/ supplementary materials Clubs that connect girls/break their isolation/girls bond with peers. Tibeb Ambassadors lead community mobilization for girls w/ teachers & mentors.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

Reactions so far to our screenings have been very positive and those who have been introduced to the Tibeb Program are very enthusiastic about being involved in it. For this reason, we are confident that as an educational program, we will change behaviours in the community and family. This will create a conducive environment necessary for the girls to learn. We can also supply the girls with engaging supplementary materials and trained teachers but because these girls are living in a very poor community, they still must earn income to sustain daily life. That demand to spend most of their day working hard to earn money, negatively impacts their chance to excel in learning.

Tell us more about you.

WKW is a social business enterprise with strong partnerships with local & international non profit organizations and government institutions. Our partner, SVO, has extensive experience in community mobilization. Bruktawit Tigabu and Misganaw Eticha, the founders, are committed to long lasting educational impact. They are also leaders in bringing together local implementing partners to collaborate through the initiative of Local Implementing Partners Network.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Extreme drought

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

Our primary implementation area of Tibeb Program is rural, hard to reach Afan Oromo language speaking woredas. The supplementary materials and training will be based on the national curriculum and can easily be used effectively after adapting it to the necessary Ethiopian instructional languages. The animation series could be adapted to any language in Ethiopia and Africa and used in refugee camps, national broadcast and in school and community screenings.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

Our innovation will be implemented Bale province, Ethiopia. We will start in Gasasara Woreda which has 45 schools. Tibeb Girls series, supplementary books and training materials will be suitable throughout the region. When we scale up the project beyond the region, local language and other cultural adaptations will be done with respective regional education bureaus. Tibeb Girls series is appropriate in many countries where girls’ and women’s rights and education needs to be addressed.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

Whiz Kids has the longest running and the only children’s educational TV & Radio program weekly, reaching millions of children through partnerships of national & regional TV and radio broadcasters. We worked with Ministry of Education & all Educational Bureaus in Ethiopia to develop over 100 supplementary educational books & 300 teacher model videos. Through our strong government, local & International NGO partnerships, we distributed over 500,000 supplementary books to schools & communities.

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

Whiz Kids Workshop impact it’s audiences through relevant television, radio, cell phones, & print media. Tibeb Program will be implemented in partnership with Stand for Vulnerable Organization, Oromia Education Bureau, & Oromia TV and Radio Agency. Our partner Stand for Vulnerable Organization (SVO) is experienced in implementing community mobilization. While Oromia Education Bureau to review & validate all educational materials, Oromia Regional Broadcasting Agency will broadcast Tibeb series.

Innovation Maturity

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: I have tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.

Organization Status

  • We are a registered for-profit company (including social enterprises).

Organization Location

We are Ethiopian teams that are registered and based in Ethiopia.


How has your Idea changed based on feedback?

We walked through our user experience map with 20 out-of-school girls. Their reactions to the Tibeb Girls pilot episode were overwhelmingly positive. They saw the character Hannah (who is saved by the heroines in the show) as a hero because she had the courage to fight for her education, that they have a high desire for education & that our outreach to parents & community must be very strong. In response we will increase the planned engagement & community screenings with parents and relatives.

Who will implement this Idea?

Tibeb Girls will be implemented by WKW and its partner SVO. WKW will work with the Oromia Region State Education Bureau (ORSEB) to realign the ABE curricula, develop video-based teacher training modules, devise supplemental materials, produce the Tibeb media series and the Tibeb Fair and Tibeb Club materials through 4 full time staff and 12 contractors of animators, writers and production experts. SVO will handle trainings for ABE facilitators, Tibeb Fairs and to create Tibeb Community Plans that enroll girls and mobilize resources with its 6 full time staff which are located in Bale zone.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

At the individual level, disempowered OOS girls don’t see a way to succeed in their education, especially with pressing expectations for income generation, household chores or marriage, and often lack internal drive, peer support or household encouragement. At the school-level, ABE facilitators have very limited training & under-resourced classrooms. Facilitator turnover due to low pay or volunteer status means irregular classes that further reduce attendance. At the system-level, government authorities do not prioritise or properly resource the ABE programs – seeing the formal system as more beneficial. So, despite good national policies on paper, zonal, woreda (local) and kebele (community) level MoE don’t tend to effectively manage and promote ABE programs.

How is your organization considering sustainable growth in order to continue making an impact over time?

WKW has been in business as a social-enterprise for over 12 years, with diverse income generating experience in funding educational media. Our mechanisms include video distribution licensing, supplementary educational materials, & direct sales of books, videos & merchandise to the general public. Local & international organizations also use our platform to reach our audiences; we worked with USAID on health messages and with DFID on empowering girls and advocating for the value of education. We’ve worked with foundations like Rotary to sponsor schools by purchasing our educational packages.

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact that you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question/hurdle you need to address to get there?

IMPACT: By 2021 we aim to bring our programs in Ethiopia to 15,000 out of school girls directly through our ABE program and 5 million children and their communities through broadcast. QUESTION: “How do we expand our ABE programs to other countries in Africa and still keep them cost effective and culturally relevant to achieve our Vision for 2024: to measurably impact 500,000 out of school girls and reach 10 million viewers across Africa each year.

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) outcomes for this project?

Output & outcome indicators to be monitored include: Registry & attendance tracking of OOS girls in ABE programs EGRA/EGMA test results Inventory & regular use of supplemental materials & teacher training videos as an indicator of usefulness & to gauge areas for improvement Broadcast audience & Tibeb Fair surveys to measure broadcast audience size, awareness of taboo topics addressed, evolving attitudes based on Tibeb programs Tracking instances of changing practices e.g. regular attendance

What is the timeline for your project Idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

2018:Develop & test the Tibeb Program in the Afan Oromo language for out of school girls in 10 ABE schools in Bale Zone 2019:Expand the program to full coverage of ABE schools in the Gasasara woreda. Create new episodes of the Tibeb Girls series 2020:Graduate the first batch of girls from the three year ABE Tibeb Girls program. Use the data collected, success stories, research & refinement of the model in order to scale up the reach of Tibeb Girls TV & Radio series by adapting to more languges

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • Between $500,000 and $1,000,000 USD

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed Idea live?

  • Between 20-50 paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country that you intend to implement your Idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this Idea together?

  • Between 1 and 2 years

What do you need the most support with for your innovation?

  • Business Development / Partnerships Support
  • Product Design
  • Other Technical Expertise


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