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Yegna, a multiplatform cultural brand that consists of a radio show as well as a girl band will continue to be implemented despite the pullout of DFID’s funds; Yegna’s Managing Director Solome Tadesse stated on Tuesday.

“As was announced last Friday, Yegna is parting ways with one of our partners, the UK Department for International Development (DFID). DFID was our pivotal partner in launching the success of Yegna in Ethiopia. We’ve been working with DFID for four years and have benefitted from their research, monitoring and support. Now we are evolving our work to become more sustainable on our own,” Solome stated adding that the decision by DFID would not affect its continued success in Ethiopia because the project has already obtained other funds from other international organizations.

DFID pulled the funding from the project after several reports surfaced in the media about concerns of UK parliamentarians about how aid money was being spent.  “Yegna was just an easy target because it uses an innovative idea and it is not what people usually think about when they think about development funds. Yegna has been very successful and there have been studies done to confirm that,” Solome also said.

According to a statement by Girl Effect, the NGO that is implementing the Yegna project, development solutions that address poverty focus on supply-side services – like schools or health clinics – things that can be seen and touched.

“But all too often we treat the symptoms of poverty and overlook the cause. Research shows that girls consistently get passed over or are denied access to the services they need – they fail to take up immunizations, or drop out of school. Often it is negative entrenched social norms about a girl’s own value that prevent girls from accessing these services. Through culture brands like Yegna, Girl Effect addresses these issues. Our unique approach fills the gap of what is often unseen, to unlock a New Normal for girls. When the New Normal takes hold, girls become visible, vocal, connected and valued and are given the tools they need to become agents of change, not just recipients of aid,” the statement asserted.

Currently Yegna is being implemented in Addis Ababa and the Amhara Region but it has plans to go national this year.