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Oct 22, 2019

Your Impact: Meet Angela - Survivor, Student, Advocate

Your generosity in supporting the Tehani Photo Workshop program for child marriage survivors in Kenya has been invaluable. The leadership skills and confidence the girls developed during their time together participating in the Tehani Photo Workshops continue to empower them with confidence and communication skills, which in turn help strengthen their performance in school. 

Too Young to Wed also supports each of the Kenya workshop graduates with academic scholarships. Keeping the girls in school helps to keep the girls out of harmful forced and early marriages, and keeps them connected to crucial psychosocial support, peer networks, extracurricular activities, and community resources that nurture their physical and emotional health. 

Our team recently met with the girls in Kenya upon their return to Falling Waters School for the fall term. Below is a direct testimonial from Angela, just one of the girls who is safe and thriving now, thanks in part to your generous support. 

My name is Angela. I am 16 years old and a student at Falling Waters High School. I am a happy, funny girl who loves to smile. My favorite subject in school is biology, because it is fascinating to me to learn about how the body functions.

I was rescued by the Samburu Girls Foundation when I was 7 years old. At that time, my father had given the go-ahead for my beading* and I was not going to school. I am the only girl in my family. All of my older brothers were attending school, but I was not. I did not understand what was happening around me because I was so young. One day a 57-year-old man was introduced to me by my father. He said he would be my husband and that my father’s older brother had made the decision. I was sad since I was only grazing my father’s cows and I cried a lot when I was told that I would get married. One Sunday, I refused to go graze the cows and went to church. I explained my situation to a good Samaritan in church who then referred me to the girls’ center. 

I’m very happy to be in school now. The Tehani Photo Workshop gave me so much confidence also. There were times in the past when I was not able to stand in front of people and speak about myself – but now I have that confidence. 

When I finish school, I want to become a doctor and save all girls who are victims of early marriage like me.

Did you know that in addition to empowering child marriage survivors to tell their stories and develop their leadership skills through the Tehani Photo Workshops, TYTW runs numerous additional programs? These include:

  • Leadership, Educational, and Vocational Scholarships for girls in Kenya, Nigeria, and Nepal 
  • Rescue and Reconciliation Programming for Child Marriage and FGM Survivors in Kenya 
  • Post-Disaster Community Revitalization in Nepal 
  • Emergency Assistance and Agricultural Support for Boko Haram Abduction Survivors in Nigeria 
  • School Breakfasts for Girls in Yemen 
  • Original Reporting and Global Advocacy 

Please visit our NEW WEBSITE to learn more about these programs and continue supporting these life-changing initiaitives.

 

With gratitude, 

The Too Young to Wed Team 

 

*Girl-child beading is a harmful cultural practice, sanctioning a non-marital sexual relationship between Samburu male warriors and young Samburu girls who are not yet eligible to be married. In most cases, beaded girls are between the ages of 9 and 15 years.

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Oct 22, 2019

Exciting news: now serving 537 girls!

Thank you again for your generous support of Too Young to Wed’s Yemen Breakfasts program! Classes resumed Saturday, September 14th in Sana’a and our breakfasts program is once again underway. Each morning attending schoolgirls - most between the ages of 6 and 13 - receive a nutritious breakfast of bread, milk, fruit, and a protein such as egg, tuna, or cheese. This balanced meal provides each girl with calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B12, potassium, and magnesium among other nutrients. For some, it is their only meal of the day. Most importantly, it provides an important economic incentive for families to continue sending their daughters to school. Education is the single most effective measure to prevent child marriage, and your generosity helps keep this safeguard in place for the girls in Sana’a. 

When the project began in March 2018, more than 120 girls were inconsistent in their attendance. When one eight-year-old pupil stopped showing up to classes altogether, her teacher decided to investigate the cause. On arriving at her student’s home, she found the girl’s family preparing to marry her off out of economic desperation. Even the young girl’s mother was distraught; having been a child bride herself she did not want the same future for her daughter. However, their severe poverty forced left the family with little choice. 

Fortunately, since Too Young to Wed began providing young schoolgirls with breakfast through our partners Solidarios Sin Fronteras, this young student is back in the classroom and attendance has remained high. In fact, not a single student has dropped out since the start of the program. The students laugh, they play, they learn. They are girls--allowed to be children. 

Thanks generous supporters like you, we are exctied to report that our partners have been able to increase the number of girls served by this project to 537 from 525. They've also expanded their assistance to a second school in Sana’a, supporting girls who are vulnerable to child marriage because of the extreme poverty of the area, and boys who are vulnerable to recruitment as child soldiers due to the ongoing war.

We thank you for your generosity, and hope you will continue your generous support so that we can continue to keep hundreds of children in Yemen in school and safe from abuse.  

With gratitude,

The TYTW Team

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Jul 16, 2019

Thank you for empowering child marriage survivors!

Tehani (pink), inspired the Tehani Photo Workshops
Tehani (pink), inspired the Tehani Photo Workshops

Your generosity during our Tehani Photo Workshops GlobalGiving campaign allowed us to organize photography workshops for former child brides and girls at-risk of child marriage to overcome their trauma and learn visual storytelling skills that will help them communicate their own stories, giving them a voice on the world stage. These young girls took on the role of advocating for their rights in their community, addressing their peers and elders at the close of each workshop in an impassioned plea to end the harmful practices of FGM and child marriage.

Through these workshops, we hope to create a generation of empowered advocates and community leaders in the fight to end this devastating practice. Thanks to your generosity and Canon’s continued sustainable support, we will be closing this project for individual donations. 

Yemen Emergency Assistance Breakfast Program for Vulnerable Girls 

In place of our workshop fundraising, we're asking you to help us to impact the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable girls, this time in YEMEN. According to the United Nations, the conflict in Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis today. It is estimated that more than 65% of Yemeni girls are now being married off before age 18, compared to 50% before the conflict began. 

For the last year, Too Young to Wed has partnered with the nonprofit organization Solidarios Sin Frontieras in Sana’a, Yemen to provide a complete breakfast of bread, milk, fruit, and protein to 525 schoolgirls each day, as an incentive for them to remain in school as the conflict worsens. Looming famine makes child marriage an increasingly attractive option to families desperate for one less mouth to feed. A guaranteed nutritious breakfast at school makes these girls less vulnerable to child marriage.

Can we count on you to support our program expansion to support vulnerable girls in Yemen?

Every dollar you donate will support our breakfast program in Yemen, which enables young girls to stay in school and out of marriage. Thank you for helping TYTW provide emergency assistance and education to girls in humanitarian settings where child marriages are most egregious. With your support, we are one step closer to ending child marriage globally.

 

With gratitude,

Stephanie and the TYTW Team

Links:

 
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