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Your donation could keep more girls fed, in school and safe from forced marriage

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Najma and her mother Lulu are sitting in front of a brown hut that is their home
Najma and Lulu sitting outside their home in Kenya

Najma's Story

12-year-old Najma lives in rural Kenya, a country which is facing severe drought. 

‘My mother couldn’t afford to pay for my school,’ says Najma. ‘My dream of becoming a doctor was cut short and now I am busy working to put food on the table,’ she says. 

With the increased pressure to provide for her children, Najma’s mother Lulu felt she had no choice but to take her daughter out of school and is considering marrying her to an older man. 

‘I miss school and I wish I could go back because I don’t want to get married at this young age,’ she says.

No girl should have to live with this fear. But too many families feel like they have no choice. Your donation can make a vital difference. 

Worldwide, 23 girls are forced into marriage every minute

Debritu smiles at the camera
Debritu, 16, was able to stop her own forced marriage in Ethiopia

Debritu's Story

Debritu was 16 when she had to drop out of school to care for her mother and household. 

‘My father secretly decided to make me marry someone because he believed that if I was married, I would be able to better support the family,’ says Debritu. ‘I asked my parents to stop planning the wedding, but they refused.’

Debritu was determined not to accept the marriage. She sought out Plan International’s Champions of Change project. Here, girls can learn about gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and the harms of early marriage.

‘My parents instantly changed their minds and they called off the wedding.’ 

Debritu’s parents now understand more about her rights and encourage other girls to take action to prevent child marriage as well.


Banner image: Najma, 12, Kenya, fears being forced into a marriage.