Planning a wedding is exciting! From Pinterest perfection to generations of family and traditions, weddings are the ultimate celebration of love. And while planning your dream wedding can be stressful, I’ll wager that the easiest decision you ever made was saying YES! when your partner popped the question.
Unfortunately, this is a distant fairytale for far too many brides-to-be. An estimated 39,000 girls become child brides every single day. This stat is almost too difficult to process. You might even be thinking, of course this awful, but what difference can you and I really make? What I’ve learned as a former Peace Corps Volunteer and founder of an organization that works with over 1,000 nonprofits worldwide, is that the world’s problems are not insurmountable when we tackle them together.
There is good news. Hundreds of nonprofits and thousands of dedicated, passionate people around the world are fighting to ending child marriage.
Below are five nonprofits in particular that are doing fantastic work. Learn about their efforts and consider incorporating these worthy organizations into your wedding day or bridal shower.
Too Young to Wed
Too Young To Wed’s (TYTW) mission is to protect girls’ rights and end child marriage. Through the use of powerful portraits and short films of child brides, TYTW serves as the bridge, connecting girls’ stories to governments, policymakers, and the public. TYTW’s Adolescent Girls Photography Workshops provide survivors and girls at-risk of child marriage a chance to heal, tell their own stories, and return to their communities as leaders in the fight against child marriage.
Global Grassroots’ Young Women’s Academy for Conscious Change offers a curriculum for vulnerable yet motivated recent high school graduates in Uganda who wish to initiate social change in their communities. They focus on issues such as early marriage, teen pregnancy, street children & school drop-outs. Partnered with Cornerstone Development, the Academy offers social entrepreneurship skills, leadership training, personal transformation exercises, mindfulness practices & university scholarships.
CREA’s “It’s My Body!” campaign will inform 200 adolescent girls in India about their sexual and reproductive rights through the medium of sports. Through empowering young girls, CREA hopes to initiate the process of building an understanding among the girls on connections among control over their own bodies, sexuality, health, leadership, diversity, and rights.
The Kakenya Center for Excellence seeks to empower and motivate young girls through education to become agents of change and to break the cycle of destructive cultural practices in Maasai, Kenya such as early forced marriage and female genital mutilation. Each camp session instills leadership skills, team building, and basic health education, while also teaching at-risk girls to speak up and prevent harmful traditional practices.
Afghan Institute of Learning
Each year, the Afghan Institute of Learning aims to provide education, health services and training in human rights, leadership and health to at least 70,000 adolescent girls. By training girls a variety of vocational and leadership skills, the organization hopes to provide women with a greater degree of independence and put them on a trajectory of success.
About The Contributor:
Kate Glantz is the co-founder and CEO of Heartful.ly, a wedding registry for charitable giving. Heartful.ly connects generous couples and their communities to over 1,000 development projects around the world. Learn how you can share your happily ever at www.heartful.ly.