This project prevents child marriage and builds brighter futures for young girls in rural Guatemala by training 400 Maya girls aged 10 to 17 to advocate for themselves through a 6-month course. The girls build their knowledge, skills, and self-esteem in 25 workshops while a supportive community environment is formed around them as we work with 220 parents and 150 community leaders to delay early marriages and promote gender equality in indigenous communities.
In Guatemala, 1 in 3 girls are married by age 18 and 1 in every 5 babies is born to a girl aged 19 or younger. Maya girls in rural communities are disproportionately impacted by child marriage, which limits their opportunities to lead healthy, productive lives and increases their risk of domestic violence and poor health. This project will help 400 Maya Kaqchikel girls understand their rights, prevent child marriage, and access a range of socioeconomic opportunities in rural Guatemala.
WJI provides human rights and skills-building education to Maya girls ages 10 to 17, provides legal aid to their families, and works with parents, teachers, police and community leaders to change norms about child marriage, implement community-based prevention plans, and strengthen legal institutions to protect girls. WJI also trains Community Advocates to serve as mentors and sources of knowledge in their communities. WJI offers all services in Kaqchikel, the local Mayan language.
This project will equip 400 girls in 10 communities with the knowledge and skills to prevent child marriage, which will increase their ability to stay in school, improve their health, and provide them with increased economic opportunity. The project will also engage over 370 parents and community members in preventing child marriages and promoting gender equality. This will lead to long-term changes in cultural norms that consider child marriage acceptable in rural, indigenous communities.
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