Today we launch our weekly $5 project. Every week, we will be bringing you something or someone we have researched and believe would be worthwhile to spend $5 on. We hope you will participate, whether it be weekly or monthly. $5 may not seem like much, but if we all work together, our little contribution may be the catalyst for great change.
The story of the eight-year-old Yemeni girl who died from sexual trauma on her wedding night to her forty-something-year-old husband, now is being actively disputed by local officials.
We may never find out whether or not this story is true or false, but it did bring global attention to an issue that is often overlooked in the West- child marriage.
In March, we spent time at the Hamlin Fistula clinics and learned of the child brides married off as young as nine-years-old. Traumatic genital injuries and fistulas are more common in children who are married off prior to puberty, and obviously the psychological damage is extreme, but the physical injuries can be life-long, as well. (Some of the common physical effects of child marriage are premature births, maternal mortality, infant mortality, as well as the girls being more likely to contract HIV/AIDS. The most common psychological effect of child marriage is PTSD.)
This is so common around the world that this year alone, ten million young girls will be entering child marriages. The marriages put the woman at risk for poverty, physical abuse, and lack of education.
What can we do?
Education is the number one most effective way to prevent child marriages. A young girl receiving an education is six times less likely to marry young, and equips a woman with the skills and knowledge she needs to become self-sufficient in her community.
Some families are so poor that they have no choice but to marry their children off at a very young age. Girls who are able to provide an adequate income, or families who have a stable income are much less likely to allow their children to enter child marriages.
Where to spend your $5 :
We are supporting a project which has the goal of educating 150 girls in India, specifically addressing child marriage prevention.
There are different targeted dollar amounts which they explain will fund specific areas of the girl’s life (healthcare, meals, etc…) as well as an “other” amount where you can put in your own dollar amount. (Okay, this week the minimum donation is $10 for the project, but we want to keep on theme with the $5 bit.)
So, whether you give $10 or wish to donate a little more, just know that any dollar amount has the potential to dramatically impact the lives of these young girls.
Join our $5 ($10) challenge ! Give up a cup of coffee or a weekend beer – click here to donate.
Text GIVE 8803 to 80088 to donate $10 to Prevent Child Marriage, Educate 150 Girls in India. Message and data rates may apply. Only works for US mobile phones.