Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana

by Hats Community Empowerment Programme (HACEP-Ghana)
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
Protect 50,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana
1
1

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the future has never felt so unpredictable. These are challenging times for us all, and we hope you’re in good spirits and health! Right now, we’re doing everything possible to sustain daily operations and provide services to our community. While there’s a lot of uncertainty, we know that we need to adapt fast to our changing reality. Now, more than ever, our community needs us. And we need you. If you’re able, please make a donation to provide emergency and preventive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to our Girls empowerment programme at:Protect 5,000 Girls From Child Marriage in Ghana If you’re unable to donate at this time, there are many other ways you can support us! by providing us with releive items such us, hande sanitizers, gloves, veronica buckets for routine hand washing, nose maks for our girls. You can advocate for us by sharing our mission with a family member or friend. Even a quick mention on your social media would mean the world to us. In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible and we feel privileged that you selected our project to support out of so many wonderful causes. By adding your donation, you've become a part of our community of supporters and we're thrilled to have you on the team. We'll send you an update through GlobalGiving three or four times a year to tell you about the impact you've made. We'll explain what work we've accomplished and hopefully have some great photos to share! Please consider telling your friends and family about our project. Sharing with your community why you chose to support our organization will help us increase the work we can do in our community. Thank you again for all you have done to help this cause. With gratitude, Abass Hamza

2
2
5
5

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Community Conversation
Community Conversation

12, Husband, 65 – The Dire Story Of Child Brides

‘I’m Just a Child’: This 3 Child Bride Shares Her Heartbreaking Story to Put an End to Early Marriage

 

 Ali grimaces as he recalls the day he sent his 12-year-old daughter, Fatima, away to live with a 65-year-old man.

Although the practice is common in Northern Ghana, remote villages has the worse records of child marriage, Ali did not feel entirely comfortable with the idea of giving away his little girl’s hand in marriage – to a man old enough to be her grandfather.

“I was sad because he was too old. I wanted her to marry someone younger, say 55 or 50 because he could take care of her for a longer time before he dies. But he was a successful farmer in the village and he paid a good dowry,” says Ali

The dowry consisted of some kola nuts (native to the African tropics), a cow, a bag of salt and a sewing machine. To protect his daughter from the negative glares of society, Ali accepted the generous offer and sent Fatima on her way to her new life as a wife.

“This is what happens when a girl reaches puberty. It is our culture and that is the right thing for a woman to do. She will grow up quickly and learn how to take care of a man and the home and bring honor to her family,” says Ali.

For Fatima and many other young girls in Northern Ghana, their demise into forced marriages is puzzling.

Fatima’s marriage is prohibited under the Ghanaian law, which bans marriage before the age of 18. But in remote and hard to reach rural areas, they are at loggerheads with age-old customs, and hide behind it to commit these atrocities to the lives of girls in those areas.

“As a father you have to do what is best for your family. If your daughter is ready for marriage, you do what you must to make sure she finds a good man,” says Ali.

Northern region of Ghana is home to the largest number of child brides in the country, the practice has continued to gain prominence in northern Nigeria due to prevailing attitudes in an area with gender disparity. The grim situation is particularly pronounced in this region due mainly to strong resistance to the rights of children with opponents stating that some aspects of the Act are against religion and therefore cannot be followed.

“According to current figures, more than 10,000 girls worldwide are married while still children, often before they may be physically and emotionally ready to become wives and mothers and this endangers the life trajectories of these girls in numerous ways,” Such was the case for Memuna. At the age of 14, she is already a divorcee.

“When I was 13, one of my father’s friends came to the house and asked for a bride. My father chose me because I was the oldest out of my three siblings. I did not want to go with him. I wanted to go to school and be an air hostess but I could not disobey my father so I accepted,” says Memuna.

Her husband, a 38-year-old trader, took her away to the remote dust-blown state of Borno in north eastern part of the northern Ghana. Immediately after the marriage, Memuna’s problems began.

“I wanted to continue my education but he said no. One day he came home and I was reading a storybook and he got really angry and beat me. He said a wife’s place is in the house not at school. He was abusive and demanded sex every evening. It was painful,” says Memuna.

To escape the traumatic ordeal, she ran home to her mother and begged not to be returned. Her angry husband divorced her immediately under, which requires a man to say out loud “I divorce you” three times for a marriage to be over.

“My father was very angry and embarrassed. He threatened to kill me but HACEP-Ghana with the support of the community leaders and the chief Imam pleaded with him. He stopped talking to me because I brought shame to the family. He disowned me,” says Memuna.

Now Memuna stays in Tamale at one of of Safe Houses (Host families who agree to provide temporal shelter for child brides rescued by HACEP-Ghana) and has started school as well as benefiting from our economic empowerment programme that gives small capital to girls to start their own businesses to care for themselves.

 

 therefore, imperative in alleviating poverty and subsequently, promoting economic development.

“Child marriages have an adverse impact on the economy by limiting opportunities for career and vocational advancement for young girls. It therefore disempowers women and stifles the prosperity of a country because when a significant number of the Organizations like the World Bank, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF continue to support efforts in many countries but according to Rewane, much more must be done.

“The notion that sending girls off to marry much older men is a better option is also partly attributable to poverty. For instance, a very poor family is likely to reason that marrying their daughter off early will provide her basic needs and in addition, the gains gotten from her marriage may be part of the survival strategy of the family. So moving on, “Protect 5,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana will need to tackle the root of the issue, which is poverty and that means efforts to abolish this practice needs to be a multi-sectoral and comprehensive intervention,

This is the reason why we need you, your families and friends to support us in the “Decayed for Action” for the SDGs.

With your continue support, we can achieve the SDG 5, specifically 5b (End all forms of violence against girls including “Child Marriage”

Thank you for been an important part of the solution to end child marriage in Ghana and empowering girls to achieve their full potentials and make this world better than we met it so that one day when we look back at this amazing time we can all say we did it, we can all say we were part of history and God’s willing our grandchildren’s children will reap the benefits of the seeds of a better world.

Our Team
Our Team
The Community
The Community
Memuna and friend in School
Memuna and friend in School
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Sarah & Humul-Kusum
Sarah & Humul-Kusum

Last November, we asked our donors, supporters and partners like you to help support two aging out young girls from our partner Orphanage (Nyohini Children’s Home) to fulfill the dreams of Sarah & Humul-Kulsum to go to Junior High School.

Gender biases, child marriage, and poverty are just some of the contributing factors that prevent many girls in Northern Ghana from ever stepping foot in a classroom. For orphaned and vulnerable girls, the chances are even lower. In many cases, without sufficient training and preparation, when these girls turn 18 and leave these orphanages, they will in all likelihood re-enter poverty, deprivation and be forced into sex trade, child marriage and early pregnancies.

 Sarah and Humul-Kulsum have already defied the odds by completing their basic education at 6th grade. Sarah came to our partner orphanage when she was just 12 years old after she lost both her parents from unforeseen illnesses.

 Humul-Kulsum was also raised at the orphanage after she lost both of her parents. Humul-kulsum lost her father from a car accident when she was three, and her mother became ill shortly after.

 Despite their circumstances, Sarah and Humul-Kulsum made a commitment to work and study hard, so that they could change these outcomes for themselves and for future generations to come. Last year, when they graduated from 6th grade with high standing, they expressed a passion for Sciences, and their dreams of pursuing General Science at Ghana Secondary School (GHANASCO) which will ultimately lead them to pursuing medicine at the University for Development Studies (UDS), a well-known prestigious university in the Northern Region of Ghana. With the cost of tuition, accommodations, supplies and transportation to and from Kamina Junior High School (Kamina JHS), they felt they had to place this dream on the shelf and come up with a realistic plan to make money once they turned 18.

 When the directors of the orphanage heard their passion, they reached out to HACEP-Ghana Protect 5,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana project for help. They went to the Junior High School and received an official statement of the cost breakdown of the three-year JHS, including itemized costs for supplies, accommodation and transportation. We enrolled them onto our official project beneficiaries Priority List on GlobalGiving and stood with them in prayer while we waited.

 As time went by, the girls turned 18 and by law, had to leave the orphanage. Sarah went back to the place where she was born and started working long hours in a factory, making approximately $10 a month. According to the World Bank Group, even $58 a month is considered as living in extreme poverty.Humaul-Kulsum went back to her village to do some service work, making even less.

Not long after they started working, your generous support and donations from the month of June through September completely funded their Junior High School costs. Once they complete this JHS and proceed to Senior High school, they will automatically escape Child Marriage and ultimately proceed to the University. This will change their lives forever, literally breaking the cycle of poverty.It has been months since Sarah and Humul-Kulsum have enrolled in Kamina Junior High School.

 “The Principal (Head Teacher) and their class teachers said the girls are both doing extremely well academically, and that they have been impressed with their contribution to the school by the way they are helping others” said Miss Nafisatu, our field coordinator. Nafisatu recently returned from visiting the school, and had the privilege of spending several days with the girls. Her visit also included a meeting with the leadership of the school that the girls attend. “We are excited and hopeful for the future of these girls and want every girl to have the same opportunities as Sara and Humul-Kulsum.”

 Through the dedicated work of our partner orphanages and the generosity of your support and donations, HACEP-Ghana Protect 5,000 Girls from Child marriage in Ghana now takes care of approximately 2,500,000 girls who will never marry before the age of 18 since they are bound to complete Senior High School 9secondary Education) as a condition for receiving our financial support towards their full educational expenses from basic, Junior, Senior High School up to college/University level before exiting our beneficiary list.

However, we know that girls rescue from our partner orphanages to school is just one piece of a very large puzzle in preventing Child Marriage. There must be more. Once these girls turn 18 and age out of orphanages, they will become vulnerable young adults, in need of advocacy, protection, economic resources and a sense of belonging.

This year, we have decided to take on a new, exciting initiative as we plan to open our very first temporal Transition Shelter for rescued Child Brides. This will be the first of its kind in the Northern Region of Ghana. Our transition centers will provide further education, training and a safe community for young people like Sarah and Humul-Kulsum as they develop the Sexual and reproductive Health and Rights knowledge and skills they need to successfully navigate life in their communities and pursue their education to enable them achieve their full potentials with the power to decide when and whom to get married.

 We therefore call on you to support us by donating to our project Protect 5,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana on GlobalGiving and ask your friends and family to also support us by donating and share our project on your social media platforms in order for us to realize this new amazing  and life changing dream to empower girls and women in Ghana which will ultimately break the intergenerational cycle of poverty in the region.

Thank you for your kind donation. Your caring support of the Girls will make a great difference in the lives of thousands in Northern Ghana.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Jenifa In a Happy Mood
Jenifa In a Happy Mood

“It was the same every night, the husband comes home drunk and beats her” This is how Mama Malia describes their landlord after turning a deaf ear to the screams of terror and the sound of furniture being overthrown and glass breaking. “There is nothing we can do, it’s best not to interfere”

 

Violence against child brides runs deep in the Karaga District of Northern Ghana, where child brides who dare to leave their husbands risk losing their legal status, a place to live and the right to work.

“Nyug-Maabu” (Betrothals at Birth) is centuries old tradition practice by the people of Dagomba Kingdom where a small amount of money is offered to a family at the birth of a female child by an older man, this implies that the female child is promised to the man as a bride when she comes of age.

This often result into child, early and forced marriage since there is a need to marry the female child as early as possible to avoid a situation where the girl will be allowed to grow up and potentially refuse to marry a man as old as his father as custom demands.

Our research has found that 95% of these girls are married before their thirteenth birth day, and the rest will be married by age 15.

Jenifer’s case was not different; she was betrothed at birth and was married at the age of 12 to his 55-year-old husband who had two (2) wives already with 5 children and Nadia was added as the third wife. Her husbands’ last born was even older than Nadia.

She was in Primary 5 (Class Five) when she was united with her husband, upon completion of her primary and basic education, Jenifer was in her final year in JHS (Junior High School) when she was stopped from schooling by her husband due to lack of needed funds to support Nadia to further her education to SHS (Senior High School) level and beyond and the pressure to give birth.

With the same pressure from Jenifer’s’ own family to get pregnant, she had no choice than to leave school and got pregnant at the age of 14 and gave birth in her early 15 years. Because of her age and refusal of her husband to ensure she attend Antenatal/Maternal Health Clinic, Jenifer suffered severe bleeding (Postpartum Hemorrhage) after delivery leading to the development of Obstetric Fistula and lost her son to Neonatal Sepsis in addition.

As if this was not enough, the husband abandoned her owing to the erroneous traditional believe that Obstetric Fistula is a kind of curse or evil sent down by the Gods as punishment for women who commit some kind of sacrilege or sin in her matrimonial home for instance extramarital affair (infidelity).

 

With your generous donations and support, Protect 5,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana Project offered a helping hand to conduct Fistula Repair Surgery for Jenifer, she did not also give up on her dream of becoming the first ever female Medical Doctor in the history of the Karaga district. She sat for the BECE (Basic Education Certificate Examination) for private candidates and got Grade 7 and got admission to one of the prestigious Senior High Schools in Ghana (Notre Dame Girls High School, Sunyani) to offer General Science as the beginning of her journey to becoming a Medical Doctor.

 

“Without you, I had no future, but now I have gotten my Future back” says Jenifer, your donations have bought life for me again, and I would be glad if you could kindly call on your friends and family to tell a friend to tell a friend to support HACEP-Ghana to protect girls like myself from child marriage, she added”

 

That’s the same situation facing some 62 girls in the Karaga District who are still under the bondage of this senseless, dangerous and fatal tradition today. We have them under our radar but we cannot rescue them without your donations and support.  We are appealing to you to help us give these girls a fresh start like Jenifer who is very happy because she is going back to school this academic year.

 

Join our Campaign #Back2School2020 to raise $1,000,000 ($1 donation by 1 person) as an Emergency Fund that will be used to rescue 10,000 child brides across Ghana from October 1st to December 31st, 2020. You can do this by donating to the “Protect 5,000 Girls from Child Marriage in Ghana” project on Global Giving.

By so doing, you are supporting the return of Child Brides to school from every Conner of Ghana by the end of 2020.You can also help us by organizing a fund raiser to raise funds to support this campaign or you can tell a friend to tell a friend to support us with $1 donation to rescue all the 62 child brides and send them back to school.

The campaign will change how communities view girls in the most remote areas of Northern Ghana. The problems suffered by these girls and women which have a lot to do with their lack of education and economic independence often resulting in their education being interrupted at an early age and a life-long dependence on their husbands. We have a dream that all girls and women in Ghana, regardless of where they leave will have access to the necessary tools that will enable them to receive education and make sure that their work is recognized. This way, they can assist their own children and their communities in development and ensure that certain education and health care standards are achieved in their communities and beyond. This is the key to further development of both themselves and their communities.

Close Up with Jenifa
Close Up with Jenifa
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
1
1

Thank you for hosting Dalila Sumani at Hats Community Empowerment Programme (HACEP-Ghana) in March! GlobalGiving's site visits are an important part of our work, and our team is always so excited to be able to meet, support, and learn from our nonprofit partners in the field. So, thank you for being a part of this program this year! Our In-the-Field traveler Dalila Sumani wanted to share some feedback about their experience with you, and hopefully give you some valuable content.

Please see below for Dalila Sumani's thoughts about Hats Community Empowerment Programme (HACEP-Ghana)'s programs, how you may be able to use GlobalGiving more effectively, and a quote about their experience for you to use. We'd also love to hear how you feel your experience went! Please click the link below to fill our a survey about the site visit: GlobalGiving Site Visit Survey If you have any other questions about this feedback please feel free to contact Paige at inthefield@globalgiving.org - I am more than happy to help.

Thanks again! Note from the In-the-Field Traveler Abass was extremely hard working! He ensured I would have the opportunity to speak with constituents even though it was not easy to coordinate. I truly appreciated his effort. Recommendation for how to better use GlobalGiving As your organization continues to grow I would recommend using the free nonprofit management tool for your staff.

This will better equip them to assist. Feedback on your programs While your organization is doing incredible work with these young woman, it appears to be a challenge for you to organize all the work. I think volunteers would be a great resource for you and provide the women with mentors.

Quote from the In-the-Field Traveler "Education is vital to the empowerment of women in Ghana" Photos from Dalila Sumani's visit to Hats Community Empowerment Programme (HACEP-Ghana)

2
2
3
3
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Hats Community Empowerment Programme (HACEP-Ghana)

Location: Tamale, Northern Region - Ghana
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @hacepghana
Project Leader:
Abass Hamza
Mr.
Tamale, Northern Region Ghana
$66,756 raised of $500,000 goal
 
1,072 donations
$433,244 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Hats Community Empowerment Programme (HACEP-Ghana) has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.