Danedjo's story was kindly shared by our member Association de Lutte contre les Violences faites aux Femmes (ALVF).
When Danedjo was old enough to start secondary school, she moved to her uncle’s house in Maroua, because her small village only had a primary school.
When she was 14 her uncle wanted her to marry a man in his mid-30s - Danedjo would become his second wife.
Just a few months before the wedding was planned to take place, her friend Aisha, who is a social worker, helped her escape her uncle’s house to avoid the marriage.
While living at Aisha’s Danedjo worked hard to earn money during the day and attend school at night. She also attended the weekly meetings at Association de Lutte contre les Violences faites aux Femmes (ALVF), a national organisation that works to end violence against women, where she met other young women who either survived or, like her, were able to avoid the marriage.
They organised themselves and established APAD (Association for the Promotion of Girls and Women's Rights) to fight against these practices so other girls would not have to fall victim to early marriage. She is especially concerned with making sure girls stay in school and get an education.
In the time it has taken to read this article 13 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 3 seconds