School First, #BabyLater

Eshe and Kofi just got married. Now, the pressure is on. Their families expect them to have a baby right away. The couple has other ideas. And PSI — with your support — is there to help. Explore their story.

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“A baby right now would be too soon.”

Eshe, who is 19 years old, wants to finish her degree and work at a bank. But her family and in-laws have different ideas.
“A baby right now would be too soon.”

Eshe, who is 19 years old, wants to finish her degree and work at a bank. But her family and in laws have different ideas.
Eshe and Kofi just got married. Now, the pressure is on. Their families expect them to have a baby right away. After all, that is the custom in villages across Ethiopia.
Eshe and Kofi just got married. Now, the pressure is on. Their families expect them to have a baby right away. After all, that is the custom in villages across Ethiopia.
Most of Eshe’s friends already have babies—some have two or three. Eshe knows they are struggling: to put enough food on the table, to build a home, to save money for the future.
Most of Eshe’s friends already have babies—some have two or three. Eshe knows they are struggling: to put enough food on the table, to build a home, to save money for the future.
Eshe doesn’t want to struggle like her friends. She has just begun her first year of a three-year accounting program and eventually wants to work in a bank in the nearby city of Adama.
Eshe doesn’t want to struggle like her friends. She has just begun her first year of a three-year accounting program and eventually wants to work in a bank in the nearby city of Adama.
In Oromia, Eshe’s region of Ethiopia
41%
of girls are married by age 18
Half of all
15-19
year-old married girls don’t have access to contraception
46%
report their last child as unplanned
In Oromia, Eshe’s region of Ethiopia
41%
of girls are married by age 18
15-19
year-old married girls don’t have access to contraception
Half of all
46%
report their last child as unplanned
Eshe and Kofi wanted guidance, but they had nowhere to turn. Then, PSI started Smart Start in the village.
Eshe and Kofi wanted guidance, but they had nowhere to turn. Then, PSI started Smart Start in the village.

Smart Start engages couples to think about their financial goals—and helps them make choices aligned with those life goals, including decisions about when to start a family.

What is Smart Start?
PSI trains community health workers to provide Smart Start counseling and contraception services in rural villages.
What is Smart Start?
PSI trains community health workers to provide Smart Start counseling and contraception services in rural villages.

Smart Start engages couples to think about their financial goals—and helps them make choices aligned with those life goals, including decisions about when to start a family.

Smart Start engages couples to think about their financial goals—and helps them make choices aligned with those life goals, including decisions about when to start a family.

Smart Start engages couples to think about their financial goals—and helps them make choices aligned with those life goals, including decisions about when to start a family.

Four in five girls who interact with PSI’s Smart Start take up a contraceptive method.

It's Working
It's Working!
Four in five girls who interact with PSI’s Smart Start take up a contraceptive method.

PSI recruits young people as program co-creators.

I realized that I can be a voice for teenage girls going through hardship in my country — to strengthen their families and their communities.

PSI recruits young people as program co-creators.

I realized that I can be a voice for teenage girls going through hardship
in my country — to strengthen their families and their communities.

Kofi visited the health clinic and invited Meseret, a PSI-trained health worker, to visit their home and talk about their financial goals.
Kofi visited the health clinic and invited Meseret, a PSI-trained health worker, to visit their home and talk about their financial goals.
Kofi visited the health clinic and invited Meseret, a PSI-trained health worker, to visit their home and talk about their financial goals.
Meseret counseled the couple using the Smart Start tool. Then, Eshe voluntarily chose an implant that will protect her from pregnancy for three years.
Meseret counseled the couple using the Smart Start tool. Then, Eshe voluntarily chose an implant that will protect her from pregnancy for three years.
Meseret counseled the couple using the Smart Start tool. Then, Eshe voluntarily chose an implant that will protect her from pregnancy for three years.
Kofi emphasizes, “Having children is important for our families. Children are important. But we must wait. It’s hard to make a living. We must first have resources to nourish a family.”
Kofi emphasizes, “Having children is important for our families. Children are important. But we must wait. It’s hard to make a living. We must first have resources to nourish a family.”
Kofi emphasizes, “Having children is important for our families. Children are important. But we must wait. It’s hard to make a living. We must first have resources to nourish a family.”
When you support PSI, you fund efforts like Smart Start, which help put power in her hands.
Be part of Eshe and Kofi’s story
Be part of Eshe and Kofi’s story
When you support PSI, you fund efforts like Smart Start, which help put power in her hands.
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