Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories

by Too Young To Wed, Inc.
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories
Help Child Marriage Survivors Tell Their Stories

Image: Anshu was just 15 when she was attacked after refusing the advances of a 55-year-old man. She now devotes much of her time to advocacy. Photos by Ritu..

Dear Friends,

As we wrap up Women’s History Month here at TYTW, we reflect on our gratitude for donors like you whose generosity makes our work and programming possible.

The harmful toll that child marriage takes on communities extends well beyond the individual girls forced into unions against their will. Norms and expectations surrounding the practice also threaten the lives and safety of those who refuse marriage, as girls who decline the advances of older male suitors are at risk of violent reprisal attacks. Your support of TYTW’s most recent Tehani Photo Workshop (sponsored by The Kendeda Fund and Canon) provided an empowering outlet through which survivors could tell their own stories, and engage in group-based, therapeutic trauma healing work. 

Since the November workshop, TYTW has continued to engage local families in areas with high rates of child marriage through our community dialogue initiatives. In these conversations, we explore effective ways to reduce pressure on parents to marry off their young daughters and best protect their daughters from harmful practices. Below, we share some direct feedback by a few of the India workshop graduates’ parents:

“Police should provide enough security and do their duties well so that girls are not afraid when they leave their houses. In Ritu’s case, the police officer was not present at the spot where he usually should have been when the incident happened. Since police are not always available there should be stations run by women officers where only women could lodge their complaints.” Rajrani, 54, Workshop Graduate Ritu’s mother

“Due to atrocities on women, parents usually force girls to marry at an early age amid extreme circumstances. We should talk to each other and spread awareness to avoid child marriage.”  Kusum, 55, Workshop Graduate Anshu’s mother

Additionally in India, TYTW has funded 200 days of survivors’ salaries (after COVID-related economic losses due to the decline in tourism), along with construction assistance for the Agra Sheroes Hangout Café, which employs acid attack survivors; and supported literacy initiatives for over 3,000 vulnerable girls through the Centre for Unfolding Learning Potential (CULP) in Rajasthan. 

Donate to TYTW from now through March 31, and your gift will be matched by a generous private donor. Now is a great time to DOUBLE your impact!

We thank you for your invaluable contributions and look forward to staying in touch about the continuous impact of your generosity on the incredible girls TYTW serves.

Warm regards,

Stephanie and the TYTW Team 

 

Image: A star volleyball player, Ritu was attacked after refusing a marriage proposal from an older relative at just 17. 

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Dear friends:

We cannot thank you enough for your outstanding support of Too Young to Wed’s Tehani Photo Workshop program, empowering girls at risk of, and who have survived, child marriage. 

After a packed few days, our third Tehani Photo Workshop in Lucknow, India has come to a close! The socially-distanced, partly virtual workshop was held with the amazing women of Sheroes Hangout Café, and co-led by our founder Stephanie Sinclair and photojournalist Saumya Khandelwal. The Lucknow workshop brought together several courageous young women, all of whom are acid attack survivors. These attacks are a disfiguring and sometimes deadly retributive act usually perpetrated by, or on behalf of, men whose romantic or sexual advances are rejected. They disfigure hundreds of women and girls in India every year.

We are so grateful to Saumya Khandelwal, Karma Bhutia, Stop Acid Attacks, the Chhanv Foundation, and Sheroes Hangout for helping us facilitate this important event, which was made possible by support from CANON India & Canon USA, and The Kendeda Fund. Most of all, we are thankful to the courageous workshop participants who opened their world to us and shared their stories. It’s a privilege to work with such inspiring young women, and we look forward to continuing to share more of their images. Follow us on social media to see more!  

Additionally, we invite all of you to save the date for our upcoming virtual holiday fest on Saturday, December 12 at 2:00pm EDT! Brought to you by Canon, our one-hour virtual event will feature remarks by actress and activist Julianne Nicholson and renowned Chilean novelist Isabel Allende. The event will also include exclusive program footage from the field (including from this recent workshop in India with acid attack survivors), and musical performances by our Kenyan beneficiaries. We’ll also share information about our exciting print sale and host a conversation between founder Stephanie Sinclair and Kenyan documentary filmmaker / activist Jeremiah Kipainoi about the situation in the pastoralist communities, where girls are most vulnerable to child marriage and other harmful practices. 

Register for our December 12 virtual event here: https://bit.ly/38RG3GQ

We hope to see you there! Your generosity changes lives each and every day.

With gratitude,

The TYTW Team

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With schools closed, Paratichya studies at home.
With schools closed, Paratichya studies at home.

Dear GlobalGiving Friends:

Please know we are keeping the health and wellbeing of you and your loved ones in our thoughts during these challenging times.

As you will recall, due to the pandemic, TYTW was forced to postpone the Nepal Tehani Photo Workshop scheduled for March. In the interim, the support of our generous donors allowed TYTW to provide emergency COVID-19 education and sanitizing resources to vulnerable girls and their communities in Nepal and in three other countries where we currently run programs. We are happy to report that thus far, no coronavirus cases have been reported in Kagati Village, Nepal, a community we have worked closely with for the past decade. We are deeply grateful to our team members on the ground and to our committed donors for acting and giving so rapidly to help contain the spread of the virus.

In another recent development from Nepal, we are thrilled to receive reports that Laxmi, a TYTW scholarship awardee, and her family were able to begin construction on a permanent home thanks to TYTW’s generous community of donors who made the repair grant possible, providing bricks, cement, and rods to complete the home’s rebuilding. Thank you all! 

While planning for the workshop last fall, we discovered that Laxmi was still living in a dangerously precarious temporary structure, after her home was destroyed in the earthquake in 2015. Laxmi, a third grader, lives with her two sisters, one brother, and father who is deaf and mute. Numerous extenuating circumstances—a recent death, disability, and the lasting negative effects of the earthquake—placed enormous economic strain upon the family. The construction was unfortunately delayed due the pandemic lockdowns and seasonal rains, but things are now back on track and the family anticipates completion soon! 

Finally, plans are underway for TYTW’s first Virtual Tehani Photo Workshop to take place in early fall 2020. Please stay tuned for more details on how your support will continue to empower survivors as we adapt modalities to respond to shifting global circumstances.

Don't forget follow TYTW’s social media feeds for ongoing updates about the situations on the ground in each of the countries in which we work.

In solidarity,

Stephanie & the TYTW Team

Laxmi's new home currently under construction.
Laxmi's new home currently under construction.
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Dear GlobalGiving Friends: 

In these extraordinarily challenging times, we at TYTW send our warmest and loving thoughts to each of you, and our sincerest wishes for your health and safety. We are deeply grateful for your support of the Nepal Tehani Photo Workshop project, and wanted to provide an update on what TYTW is doing to address our girls’ emergency needs brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic’s health threats to travel, we were forced to cancel the Tehani Photo Workshop scheduled for March in Nepal. We have provided emergency COVID-19 relief and prevention grant funds to our field partners in Nepal, which will provide for purchase and distribution of soaps and sanitizing materials, as well as public health education materials and posters on handwashing, containment, and prevention of the spread of coronavirus. 

While the projected date of our next in-person Tehani Photo Workshop is not yet clear, in the meantime, TYTW and our partners are working tirelessly to maximize the health of the girls and families served by our initiatives in Nepal.

We understand that these are highly stressful and uncertain times for everyone. For those who are able to make an emergency gift, you can ensure the protection of the most vulnerable girls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are sending our love to each of you. By standing together, we will emerge from these challenging days stronger than ever.

With vast gratitude, 

Stephanie and the TYTW Team

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Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

Thank you again for your generous support of Too Young to Wed’s Tehani Photo Workshop program.

We are excited to announce that the next Tehani Photo Workshop is set to take place in Nepal during the first week of March, with an all-star local and international facilitation team recruited, a tranquil venue, and most importantly, a specially-selected group of local child marriage survivors who will lift one another up as they bravely share their stories. We will announce even more details soon on a unique, new element that TYTW will be integrating into this workshop for the first time. Please stay tuned!

In the meantime, we had the privilege of providing additional support to the Kagati Village community in Nepal through a recent vision care clinic in partnership with OneSight, where more than 1,000 were served. OneSight’s work providing quality vision care to underserved populations unleashes vast potential, including literacy support, as it brings eye exams and glasses to the millions who lack access to proper vision care. 

Through our many partnerships, Too Young to Wed has been working in Kagati Village for the past 14 years, sharing the story of a community working to leave child marriage behind, as well as supporting scholarships for its children most vulnerable to the practice. Many of the beneficiaries of the vision clinic included those whose weddings we photographed more than a decade ago, and their resulting children. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to partner with our friends at OneSight to serve this special community in a new way.

Again, we thank you sincerely for helping to make the Tehani Photo Workshop program possible. Your generosity is helping to create a generation of empowered advocates, champions, and community leaders in the fight to end child marriage globally.

With gratitude,

The TYTW Team

 

Note on second photo: All three children pictured are Too Young to Wed scholarship recipients.

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Organization Information

Too Young To Wed, Inc.

Location: Peekskill, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @https://www.facebook.com/TooYoungtoWed/
Project Leader:
Stephanie Sinclair
Peekskill, NY United States
$35,590 raised of $50,000 goal
 
669 donations
$14,410 to go
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