In 2013 Girl Effect launched Yegna in Ethiopia. Meaning ‘ours’ in Amharic and deeply rooted in local culture, since launching Yegna has reached 50% of the population across Addis and Amhara, who have followed the story of five girls who start their own band.
Like all Girl Effect brands, Yegna uses storytelling, role-modelling and inspirational characters to empower girls and tackle the issues they face - such as violence, early marriage, and barriers to education - and to challenge the way people think about girls and girls about themselves.
We take a branded approach that uses characters as role models allowing girls to imagine new possibilities for themselves, futures which they may not otherwise be aware are within their reach. Girls don’t know what they don’t know, and can’t see how their lives can be changed or improved until they are shown a different way that feels relatable and within their reach.
The strength of the Yegna characters and storylines is clear through its passionate fanbase; hundreds of girls have even been inspired to have their hair cut like Yegna character Mimi and Yegna tribute bands have sprung up across the country. Yegna has inspired countless young people to come together at concerts and live events, through formal or informal clubs or even just with friends to discuss the issues they are facing. At both a mass and an individual level, girls have drawn strength, hope, and inspiration from Yegna.