For girls, true happiness does not come from marriage.
What they need is a sustainable living environment, education opportunities,
and a chance to develop their potential and pursue their dreams!
However, child marriage is a fundamental violation of human rights.
Early marriage seriously harms the development and well-being of girls,
depriving them of education and employment opportunities,
cutting off their social connections and exposing them to domestic violence.
Before their bodies are mature, girls may experience early pregnancy,
as well as bearing the risk of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases.
There are many factors behind such tragedy –
from poverty, cultural or social norms, and gender inequity to disasters and pandemics.
Whatever the cause, child marriage
compromises a child’s development and severely limits their opportunities in life.
They need your help. Girl Sponsorship can help prevent these tragedies
Rahima was just 14 years old when she came home from school and found out she was to be married to someone she never met. “I did not know what to do. When I found out, I cried a lot.”
“My mother said to them, 'What should I do? We are poor people, we do not have money for her education, so we are getting her married off at a young age.'”
In Bangladesh, more than half of girls are married before their 18th birthday. Rahima is only one of them. It felt like Rahima had no other option than to accept her fate. That was until she heard about Monika and received help.
Monika, slightly older than Rahima, had also grown up in a family where child marriage was considered normal. However, Monika managed to avoid it because
she had been sponsored since she was a 5-years-old girl.
Through World Vision’s awareness sessions, Monika, who had been receiving help from a sponsor since she was a young girl, learned about the physical and psychological harm caused by child marriage. Equipped with the knowledge, she convinced her family to choose a different path for her. But Monika didn’t stop there. Now, at just 18, she and her team are on the frontlines of the battle against child marriage by exposing its harm to local families and the authorities and fighting for the rights of these vulnerable girls. “So far I have stopped 10 marriages,” she says confidently. “My team and I believe that child marriage can be prevented if we all work together.”
The news of what Monika was doing reached Rahima. Rahima decided to seek for her help. Monika’s team was quick to act. They visited Rahima’s mother and told her that it was not right for her daughter to get married at such a young age. “When we get information about any child marriage, we immediately inform the local administration,” explains Monika. “With their help, we stop child marriage through the mobile court as well.”
Thanks to Monika and her team, Rahima’s marriage was ultimately stopped.
Now back in school, Rahima dreams of becoming a lawyer and using her experience to empower other girls to speak up against injustice. For Monika, child sponsorship not only helped protect herself against child marriage but also empowered her to protect countless other girls, too.
When you sponsor a girl, you are: