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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

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.

Links:

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:

Hauwa & her translator Maryam at Women Deliver!
Hauwa & her translator Maryam at Women Deliver!

Dear generous supporters,

Happy summer! We have been so busy working on advocacy and fundraising for our programs, that we can’t believe it’s already June. Thank you so much for your continued support of Too Young to Wed’s programming! We have some exciting updates we would like to share with you.

During the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women, Too Young To Wed (TYTW) convened its first parallel event in New York City on March 21, 2019. The sold out event, titled Too Young to Wed: Creating Enduring Partnerships to Help End Child Marriage, brought together Eunice and Nailusa, child marriage survivors from Kenya, the founder of Kenyan partner organization Samburu Girls Foundation (SGF) and others for a conversation on child marriage. These courageous girls implored the international community to continue supporting grassroots organizations like SGF and TYTW so they can reach their full potential and advocate for girls. With TYTW support, Nailusa is currently studying criminology at university and Eunice, a Tehani Photo Workshop graduate and leadership scholarship recipient, is studying journalism.

According to the SGF, through an ongoing advocacy campaign, our Tehani Photo Workshop graduates have helped educate more than 400,000 girls and community members over the past two years in Samburu and Laikipia counties alone.

This past April, a selection of TYTW founder Stephanie Sinclair’s child marriage images were exhibited as part of National Geographic's Women of Vision traveling photo exhibit featured for four months at the at Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, California -- named one of the Top 10 Free Museums in the country by Yahoo Travel.

And just last week, TYTW participated in the prestigious Women Deliver conference, the largest gathering of global voices collaborating on solutions to address women’s rights and livelihoods in the world. Too Young to Wed 2018 Global Champion Award winner and Boko Haram survivor, Hauwa, traveled to Vancouver, Canada and bravely shared her story of survival and courage in front of 10,000 attendees in order to advocate for the thousands of girls still in captivity in northern Nigeria.

Thank you for making this work possible and helping us empower girls and end child marriage.

Nailusa joins on Skype at our CSW 63 panel event!
Nailusa joins on Skype at our CSW 63 panel event!
TYTW will appear at Women Deliver 2019
TYTW will appear at Women Deliver 2019

Thank you for your continued support of Too Young to Wed’s innovative Tehani Photo Workshops! Our work would be impossible without your support, you are truly helping change the lives on young girls around the world who are vulnerable to child marriage.

Too Young to Wed (“TYTW”) started the year with a strong commitment to enriching our advocacy efforts by including graduates of our empowerment and leadership programs like our Tehani Photo Workshops. In doing do, TYTW has found yet another wayto help previously marginalized girls share their powerful stories directly with the world.

In March, TYTW will be participating extensively in the 63rd annual United Nation’s annual Commission on the Status of Women session in New York City  (the session runs between March 11 and March 22). TYTW is scheduled to participate in many exciting events during the session, but we are particularly thrilled to announce that we will be hosting one of our own (with help from our friends at the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP). Too Young to Wed: Creating Enduring Partnerships to Help End Child Marriage is a panel discussion scheduled to feature several of our long term partners, including Dr. Josephine Kulea, founder of the Samburu Girls Foundation (“SGF”), our local partner for our Tehani Photo Workshop, and Kenyan child marriage survivor, Nailusa Josyline Lodung'okiok, who was rescued from her marriage at age 13 by the SGF.

Our advocacy will continue with a familiar face, TYTW scholarship recipient, Hauwa, who is a shining example of how TYTW works to empower our girls to be their own advocates as well as the rights of other vulnerable girls. On June 4, Hauwa, will join TYTW founder, Stephanie Sinclair on stage at the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver, Canada to discuss life during and after her abduction and forced marriage to a Boko Haram fighter in Maiduguri, Nigeria. This follows her 2018 trip to the U.S., along with fellow survivor Ya Kaka, where the two spent time with several Congressional Representatives discussing the crisis facing young girls in northern Nigeria. Women Deliver, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the rights, health, and wellbeing of girls and women, intends to stream the speeches online and TYTW will be announcing how you can join us as the date approaches.

Lastly, if you’re in southern California now through April 6, you can view TYTW founder Stephanie Sinclair's arresting child marriage images as part of National Geographic's Women of Vision traveling photo exhibit. A collection of images designed to reflect the core visions of the magazine’s most prolific female photographers, the WOV exhibition is free to the public at Los Angeles’ Forest Lawn Museum.

If you would like to learn more about our upcoming events, please subscribe to our newsletter for regular program updates, and information on attending our future events. Thank you again for your crucial support! 

Tehani Photo Workshop Exhibition in Kenya.
Tehani Photo Workshop Exhibition in Kenya.

Warmest holiday greetings to you and yours from the Too Young to Wed team!

Today, we are excited to announce our increased commitment to our partner organization, the Samburu Girls Foundation (SGF), dedicated to rescuing girls from child marriage and other harmful practices in rural Kenya. Over the past two years we have supported 22 girls through our Tehani Photo Workshops, creating a new generation of young women leaders through visual storytelling. Too Young to Wed will now be supporting 40 girls rescued by SGF –  past and future workshop participants – with multi-year leadership scholarships. Recipients commit themselves to actively participate in community service projects at a local, national or international level within their discretion. 

We are also thrilled to share that Rosillah Lenanyokie, a Tehani Photo Workshop graduate and Leadership Scholarship grantee, was recently featured on the news outlet NTV Kenya for getting extraordinarly high marks on her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams. “I am planning to join my dream school, [the one] I have been praying and wishing for,” Rosillah told reportersCongratulations Rosillah!! With your help, we look forward to helping her do just that!

While success stories like Rosillah’s warm our hearts, one of the most important ingredients to their future success is you.  Without your support and generosity, none of this would be possible.  On behalf of all the girls who have participated in our workshops and who now benefit from scholarships, we thank you.  We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and a beautiful start to a wonderful new year!

 

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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
$26,658 raised of $50,000 goal
 
503 donations
$23,342 to go
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