IICBA's project team undertook its first mission from 17-20 December 2013 to two of the three pilot schools 
in Gambella Regional State that have been selected to be included in the girls education project supported 
by the Japanese government. The three - year project, which aims to decrease the drop out rate, and 
increase the learning outcomes of girls in lower secondary level in the pilot schools, was launched on 
1 October 2013 with the signing of the project's Plan of Operation (PoO) between the Ethiopia Government 
and UNESCO, in the presence of MoE staff and officials of the Japanese Embassy in Addis Ababa.

IICBA has been designated as the implementing entity of the project, with the active collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Education and the Regional 
Education Bureaux of Gambella and Somali Regional States where the project shall be implemented.

The mission started with a briefing session with Mr Ashine Astine, Head of the Gambella Regional Education Bureau. The team then visited Pugnido 
and Metar High Schools, located 110 km and 150 km respectively from Gambella town. Meetings were held with the school management staff, 
the teachers, and girl students in grades 9 and 10. The team gave briefings on the project and what it aims to achieve over the three year period. 
The project team also visited the Gambella Teachers and Health Sciences College and exchanged views on the project and on the importance 
of mainstreaming gender issues in the curriculum of teacher training colleges.

The mission was made possible through the generous support of the Gambella Sub-Regional office of the World Food Program (WFP) which 
provided two vehicles and their drivers for the four-day mission. IICBA would like to take this opportunity to thank the officials and staff of the 
Gambella WFP office for their generous support. Their kind gesture was a true reflection of the One UN spirit.