PROTECTION FROM VIOLENCE
Plan International Canada is also working on projects to end child marriage in Ethiopia. As with the efforts in Bangladesh, the My Choice for My Life project teams work SPOTLIGHT FREE TO CHOOSE
Karate Kid Adaya wants to be in the ring. She doesn’t want to wear one. Adaya* can probably do sitauke , ushiro-geri and hiza uke , but knowing these karate moves isn’t the only reason this 16-year-old girl from Bangladesh stands out. She has also become an advocate for stopping child marriage. After Adaya’s father lost his job two years ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she had to drop out of school because her family couldn’t afford the fees. During this time, she learned about the Combatting Early Marriage in Bangladesh (CEMB) project, and shortly after that, she discovered that her own forced child marriage was looming. “My family had decided to give me in marriage and hid it from me,” she recalls. “I told my mother that I was still a child, according to my age. I also informed the CEMB staff, and they came to my house and talked to her.” With additional persuasion from the local child marriage prevention committee, Adaya’s mother changed her mind.
with individuals, families and officials to shift attitudes. Together, we’re making a difference. A 2022 participant survey showed that some shifts were seen in year four of the project. For complete results, READ THE IMPACT REPORT Adolescents, especially girls, who said their parents have determined or will determine the person they will marry:
Girls perfecting their karate moves
Later, Adaya was able to help a friend who was facing a similar situation. “We warned [her guardians] that we would inform the local law- enforcement authorities, and so they cancelled the marriage and my friend was saved,” she says. Adaya, who is back at school, says the CEMB project is key to the story of her comeback. “I always wanted to learn self-defence techniques,” she says. “After learning karate through this project, I am more confident than ever.”
Parents who said they would do something to prevent a child marriage from happening in their community:
READ THE IMPACT REPORT
*This is a pseudonym.
2022 Annual Report | DIGEST 27
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