What career paths do young African girls have?  For many across Sub-Saharan Africa, opportunities have been limited primarily to a life spent in poverty in the roles of mother and wife.  But the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) is working with The MasterCard Foundation to increase educational chances for girls in villages across the continent.

The 2008 recipient of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership, Fawe’s efforts (since its founding in 1992) have included an ongoing partnership with The MasterCard Foundation Scholar Program to provide scholarships in some of the neediest countries, such as Rwanda, and now that partnership is extending its support to Ethiopia with a new scholarship program.

According to an announcement by Fawe, the MCF Scholars Program has been launched this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and will provide comprehensive scholarship packages to some 800 young students.

While Fawe has impacted the lives of an estimated 24 million school-age African girls over the past 23 years, the organization’s work with the MCF extends to school children of both genders as a way of improving the general welfare of all people in these towns and villages.

The 800 Ethiopian awards will go to 600 girls and 200 boys as a part of the NGO’s mission to promote “gender equity and equality in Africa by fostering positive policies, practices, and attitudes towards girls’ education” by extending opportunities to all members of their communities.