As you may know by now, I am currently spending my time in northern Ghana. I am here partly to conduct research for my Bachelor thesis and partly for an internship at a local NGO, called Pan-African Organisation for Research and Protection of Violence on Women and Children (PAORP-VWC). I am supporting them in their implementation of a three-year long project working towards the ending of Early and Forced Child Marriagein four northern districts. But, we need your help and I am therefore starting up a little fundraiser in the name of the NGO and this specific project!
Early and forced child marriage is increasing in Northern Ghana due to harmful traditional and cultural practises, as well as a marked absence of information and education of the law and rights of woman and children in rural communities. A recent survey conducted by Women in Law and Development (WiLDAF Ghana) shows that one out of four girls will be married before their 18thbirthday. This is a clear violation of every girl’s freedom, yet the practice often also brings on life threatening consequences as many girls end up pregnant before their bodies are physically ready for pregnancy and childbirth. Previous interventions by Pan-African Organisation indicates that communities are not even aware of the law protecting the rights of children or the existence of the children’s Act of 1998. Communities have their own definitions and distinctions between early and forced child marriage which make very little reference to the law.From a cultural perspective, when a man pays dowry (Bride Price) to the family of a girl, that constitutes marriage. Age has little to do with it. For poor families, marrying off their daughters at an early age is seen as an economic coping strategy; parents, marrying off a girl, see it as way to reduce the cost of raising her or as a means of securing her future.
The project seeks to address laws existing to protect children’s rights by advocating and raising awareness on national, regional and local levels, and by simplifying and translating the relevant laws into local languages. Now, where do I come in? The project also includes after school learning, in which girls will be educated on their rights, opportunities and general strategies for avoiding early and forced child marriage and how to say no.
Would you, together with me, like to be a small (yet an important) part of this project? Please donate a small amount through the gogetfunding account created for the project, one beer less will do you good, promise!
900sek/90euro can cover 2 teachers for three months to facilitate the After School Learning
2700sek/270euro can cover food for the children during five months
1800sek/180euro can cover assorted teaching and learning materials for 60 children
200sek/20euro can cover purified water for all children during one week
Should you have any questions or wish for more information? Hola at me! More updates on the project will follow!