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Help Girls Write their own Future

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Awareness raising sessions for girls and their communities will provide vital information on their sexual and reproductive health rights so they can grow up healthy and informed


Providing families with seeds to grow their own food also gives them the opportunity to generate a steady income, and enables them to keep their children in school


Scholarships can provide vital financial support for families, so girls have the means to attend school and focus on education rather than spending time finding food for their families
Rebecca with her daughter Martha, 13, who she is considering offering in marriage due to the crisis
Rebecca with her daughter Martha, 13, who she is considering finding a husband for due to the crisis.

Martha wants to return to school

Martha is a 13-year-old girl in South Sudan. In March 2020 the coronavirus caused Martha’s school to close, but worse was still to come. The conflict that has raged through South Sudan came to her village and Martha and her family were forced to flee. Although they have now returned to their home, they are living in tents and Martha is still not back in school. 

“At my age, I know I may be married if the schools do not open,” Martha says. “In our community, I can be married to anyone my parents feel okay with.”

But with no school to go to and the growing food crisis making every day a struggle for survival, she fears she will have no choice but to offer Martha in marriage to a suitor who will pay a dowry that can buy urgently-needed food. 

Yekaba, 13, with her mother and older sister, at their home in northern Ethiopia
Yekaba, 13, with her mother and older sister, at their home in northern Ethiopia

Saying ‘No’ to Child Marriage

Yekaba was only 12-years-old when she learnt her father wanted to marry her to an adult man. She was determined to write her own future – and rallied her community to support her. 

“I confronted my father who replied he couldn’t afford to send both his daughters to school so had decided I had to get married.”
Thanks to the kind support of people like you, Plan International ran a campaign to end child marriage in the region.

“I told my father about all the problems child marriage would cause me. I told him everything I’d learned at school from the peer-to-peer discussion group. My father eventually agreed to cancel the wedding. Now he is helping me pursue my education.”