I’m back in the US after spending 5 weeks in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand, hence the lack of posts for a while! I visited Bangladesh and Cambodia with World Vision to see the work they’re doing in those countries to address the issues of child trafficking, dangerous child labor, domestic abuse and street children. I’ll be sharing my experiences in a set of future posts in another week or so ….
However, I wanted to share with you a great article written and posted on Feb 6th for the Huffington Post: “Ending Child Marriage: Insights from Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-schnall/desmond-tutu-and-mary-rob_b_1254218.html
Although Kenya as a country is not specifically named in the article (as many other countries are not either), I have certainly seen firsthand much of what this article discusses in my travels there – but more importantly, the work we’re doing together to build schools for girls and fund advocacy in the communities really resonates with some of the solutions and/or priorities that Desmond Tutu and/or Mary Robinson discuss in this article. I LOVE the validation for what we’re doing together!
Here’s a couple of my favorite excerpts:
“Above all, we need to empower girls. We need to improve their access to quality schooling as school attendance has been found to help shift attitudes and ideas that surround child marriage. We also need to provide support networks and create safe spaces where girls can gather and meet, reducing their sense of isolation and vulnerability.”
“First, we need governments to show their support at a legislative level, to enact and enforce a legal minimum age for marriage….But legislation alone will not end entrenched traditional practices. Among the most effective efforts to end child marriage have been community mobilization and empowerment programs that encourage dialogue among parents, religious leaders, village councils, teachers – everyone. Over time these people often come to a collective decision to stop marrying their daughters off very young. We’ve been impressed by the fact that these programs are changing the attitudes of men, some of whom have become the most active advocates for change.”
Thank you for your passion and care to make a difference in the lives of the girls in Kenya!