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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
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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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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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

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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
$34,325 raised of $50,000 goal
 
605 donations
$15,675 to go
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