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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
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
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!

Aisha I., with her tailoring equipment & material
Aisha I., with her tailoring equipment & material

Greetings to all of our wonderful supporters!

As you know, our Tehani Photography Workshops are a weeklong retreat designed to give young girls who have survived, or are at risk of being entered into, child marriage the opportunity to learn a skill while also gaining methods of managing the trauma they’ve experienced – our goal is for each young woman to leave feeling empowered and ready to move on to the next stage of her life.  But did you know that even after we finish our time together with these amazing young women, our support does not end? Upon “graduation” from our workshops, each participant receives a scholarship to continue her education, either in a traditional classroom setting or through support for vocational training.

As we mentioned in our last report, we hope to bring our next workshop to Nigeria, so that some of the girls who participated in our 2017 piece, "Child, Bride, Mother: Nigeria," can experience the healing powers that these workshops can provide.  But in the meantime, we are already working to provide them with assistance. After our time getting to know the incredible young women who survived abduction by and forced marriage to Boko Haram militants, we began a scholarship program to enable these particular girls to take a further step towards healing and empowering them to establish new lives for themselves.  They are making phenomenal progress and today we’d like to share some of their stories with you.

One of our most inspiring grantees is Aisha A., now 16, who was 14 when we met her in November 2016. She was abducted by Boko Haram while she was in her last semester of secondary school.  Aisha escaped to Maiduguri, where many returning victims of Boko Haram migrated due to the displaced persons camp located within the town. TYTW provided Aisha with emergency assistance including  food and clothing, and enrolled her in secondary school so she could complete her education. Upon her graduation, she requested to be enrolled the Borno College of Legal and Islamic Studies, where she will prepare for university and a career as a Sharia court judge.  She has high aspirations for herself and we are overjoyed to be a part of her journey.

Another amazing young woman is Aisha I., age 19, who escaped abduction and two years in captivity by Boko Haram during a raid on the camp where she was being held.  In the midst of her escape, Aisha bravely rescued two young boys, Hudu, now 10, and Abbani, now 13, who were also held by the insurgents to be trained as child soldiers, and has been raising them as her own sons since her return.  This summer, Aisha was one of the first graduates from TYTW’s vocational training pilot program, receiving intensive training to become a tailor, as well as equipment and material to start her own tailoring business. TYTW also supports the education of Aisha’s two adopted sons, recently purchasing new bicycles for each of them to allow them to travel to and from their school more easily.

In addition to supporting many of the girls’ education, we are happy to be able to assist several more in other ways.  Dada, now age 15, was a student in a French secondary school on the Nigeria/Cameroon border when she was abducted by Boko Haram.  She daringly escaped and eventually made her way Maiduguri. As a native French speaker, she was unable to attend a Nigerian school and asked instead for help in setting up her own food business.  TYTW provided her with emergency assistance and start-up funding to become a food vendor. She first began selling food in front of her home, but eventually moved to the busier Monday Market, where she now employs three other survivors in her growing business.  Dada is now able to support her mother, child, and two of her siblings.

These are just a few examples of the incredible young women who inspire us every day here at TYTW and will hopefully move you as well.  They are the reason that we do what we do, and why we work so hard to impact as many lives as we can. With your help, we will continue to offer additional opportunities to these and other girls like them.  We are excited about the prospect of holding a workshop with Aisha A. and Aisha I., Dada, and others in Nigeria, and with your help, this dream will become a reality!

Aisha A.
Aisha A.
Hudu, age 10, with his new bicycle
Hudu, age 10, with his new bicycle
Abbani, age 14, with his new bicycle
Abbani, age 14, with his new bicycle
Dada, operating her food business in Maiduguri
Dada, operating her food business in Maiduguri
 

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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:
Bryan Hoben
Mohegan Lake, NY United States
$25,342 raised of $50,000 goal
 
484 donations
$24,658 to go
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