Approximately 1 in 3 girls is married as a child in Senegal. Child marriage correlates to girls’ level of education: women who have received no education are 8 times more likely to have suffered early marriage compared to women who have benefitted from secondary education.
Despite efforts to raise awareness about the devastating consequences of child marriage, at local and national levels, the practice remains widespread. It affects countless girls, depriving them of their right to childhood and the opportunity to determine their own futures, and exposing them to serious health risks.
THE SOLUTIONS WE'RE PROPOSING
W4’s field partner, DEMNGALAM, located in the Podor region in northern Senegal, has developed an innovative, holistic program to address the harmful problem of child marriage. First, awareness-raising about the dangers of child marriage, through radio programs, inter-village meetings, educational talks and awareness-raising caravans that go from village to village in the Podor region to provide local inhabitants with crucial information.
The program includes a legal component, which is essential to putting an end to this harmful practice. The program translates legal texts about child marriage into Pulaar, the local language, making this vital information more accessible. And the program helps to ensure the legal birth registration of girls over the age of 1 (a practice that many families currently find too expensive). Ensuring girls’ birth registration not only enables girls to access schooling, but also makes authorities aware of girls’ true ages, which helps to prevent child marriage.
Finally, the program supports young women who were married as children through a training program that helps the women to set up livelihoods, enabling them to earn revenues and gain financial autonomy. This, in turn, enables the women to better protect themselves and provide for their own and their children’s needs. The program offers training in agricultural activities (such as vegetable farming - potatoes, okra, chili) and basic administrative and financial management. In turn, thanks to revenues from small farming businesses, the women can pay for their children’s schooling.
THE IMPACT OF GIVING
Your donation can help change the lives of countless Senegalese girls and young women, contributing to a better future for entire communities! Your giving will help to raise awareness about and put an end to child marriage through radio programs and by translating into the local dialect (and distributing) important legal texts about child marriage and children’s rights. This program can reach up to 16,000 people.
In addition, your giving will enable young women who have suffered child marriage to benefit from livelihoods training and the opportunity to create their own small businesses. Furthermore, your giving will make possible the legal birth registration of hundreds of underprivileged girls (whose families cannot afford the legal birth registration), which, in turn, can help prevent child marriage. Your donation can have a real, lasting impact, helping to prevent child marriage and offering girls and young women a brighter future!
Together, we can end child marriage!