A few months ago, I told you a story about a girl named *Martha (*name changed to protect her identity). Even though Martha was at the tender age of 16, her family thought it was best for her to get married.
Her older brother needed the money they would receive from her dowry. They tried to convince Martha that the man she was going to marry loved her. She decided to escape the marriage and she moved onto our campus.
I’d like to tell you that the story ended happily, but after a few weeks at our campus, Martha decided she needed to go back to her family. We were helpless to prevent her from leaving and disappearing.
Every two seconds a girl somewhere in the world becomes a victim of child marriage. Martha is not the only young girl we’ve witnessed become the victim of child marriage.
Child marriage violates girls rights to health, education and opportunity. It exposes girls to violence throughout their lives and traps them in a cycle of poverty.
In Tharaka, girls are often perceived by their families as an economic burden. Families will marry their girls off in exchange for goods, money and livestock.
Marrying your daughter at a young age is viewed as an acceptable way to ease a financial hardship.
Although the legal minimum age for marriage in Kenya is 18, this is difficult to enforce due to lack of accurate birth records. It is also a sincerely held cultural belief that marrying off girls at a young age is acceptable simply because it has happened for generations.
At Each1 Feed1, we are protecting girls by requiring that everyone who comes to us for assistance must have a birth certificate. If we do not believe the certificate is accurate, we have a dentist evaluate their age by looking at their teeth.
We are also protecting our girls, boys and staff by teaching them about who they are in Christ. If the girls fail to see themselves as fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the very image of God, the cycle will continue. If the community around the girls does not have a change of heart about marrying these girls off, the cycle will continue.
Please help us break this cycle and protect our girls by giving your very best gift this week! A gift of $50.00 will help provide an education for one girl at our school for one semester. Donate now!
Kyle and I love you, and we pray for you on a regular basis. Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement, and generous support.
Your generosity makes it possible for us to continue to be your voice for the precious girls of Tharaka!
Fighting together with you,
Kyle & Victoria