I met Mona, a Syrian refugee, when I was in Jordan. She had recently married off her 16-year-old daughter to a 50-year-old man. She told me that by far, it was the hardest thing she had ever done. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and vowed to do all she could to shield her 13-year-old, Yasmin, from the same fate.
I got news a couple of days ago that Yasmin is now married, too.
Refugee families like Mona’s arrive in Jordan with no more than the clothes on their backs. Struggling to survive, selling their daughters into marriage is seen for many as their only choice. And Syrian girls becoming brides are getting younger and younger, threatening their health and wellbeing.
Yasmin, like so many girls forced to marry, can become pregnant while she’s still too young to carry safely. If that happens, she’ll be in danger of life-long injury, organ damage, and even death during childbirth. Coupled with the abuse that she may suffer at the hands of her much older husband, the life she’s bound to lead is not one that any young girl should have to endure.
The good news is that through your support of MADRE, you’re helping girls like Yasmin. We’re working with a local Jordanian women’s group, to meet the urgent needs of Syrian refugees. Our partner’s local roots mean that they know where the most vulnerable refugees are, particularly women and children, and how to reach them.
With your support, we can help refugee families get food, water and other basic services and relieve the terrible economic pressure that drives these families to make marriages for their young daughters. Thank you for supporting this life-saving work!
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