Girls are Girls, Not Brides

This fundraising intends to support a National Multimedia Campaign that advocates for Ending Child Marriage and adolescent pregnancies in Uganda.

What is happening in Uganda?

In Uganda, where poverty is acute, many girls and families believe that child marriage is a solution for financial security. Many parents struggle to cover school fees and other basic needs such as food and sanitary pads. Many feel that giving a daughter in marriage will reduce family expenses or even temporarily increase their income, in cases where a bride’s parents are paid a bride price.

Our story: Casey Foundation was founded and incorporated in 2020 following a story that aired on NBS TV, a local television station, on 6th June 2020 in Lwanda village, Luuka district in Eastern Uganda, where a 13- year-old pupil of primary five got pregnant and in her narration said, “The man bought me a bottle of soda, a cake, gave me 2000 UGX (less than 1 USD) and promised to buy me a dress. I had sex with him, I conceived, and now thinking of abortion, but life is hard.” Her friends from the same school also narrated, “During menstruation, the man got me pads (sanitary towels), after he asked me to reward him, we had sex, and I got pregnant,” “He used to come to our house and did whatever he wanted with me, and when I got pregnant, he is nowhere to be seen.” This formed Casey Foundation to end child marriage and teenage pregnancy and meet the needs of married children.

We want to change the cycle of child marriage and adolescent pregnancies:

According to the World Bank, 34% of girls in Uganda are married before their 18th birthday, 7% are married before their 15th, and 6% of boys are married before their 18th birthday. Uganda has the 14th highest absolute number of women married before the age of 18 in the world.

Child marriage increases the risk of teenage pregnancy, which can profoundly affect the health and lives of young women and contribute to high fertility rates. They and their families are more likely to live in poverty with little access to education and economic opportunities. Isolated and with limited freedom, married girls often feel disempowered. They are deprived of their fundamental rights to health, education, healthy relationships, the freedom to choose whom and when to marry, when to get pregnant, and how many children to have.

Child brides are neither physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and mothers. They face more risks of experiencing dangerous complications in pregnancy and childbirth, contracting HIV/AIDS, and suffering domestic violence.
When a girl gets pregnant or gets married, her chances of going back to school are very low, keeping girls poor by depriving them of opportunities, education, and access to paid employment.

We believe we can end this. We need your support to kick-start the “Girls are girls, not brides” project!

Our advocacy campaign for Ending Child Marriage and Adolescent pregnancies aims to:

1. Produce five (5) videos that are broadcast on national television, educating girls, parents, and the entire community on the consequences of child marriage and why is not acceptable. Each video will tackle a different problem.

Video 1 – Focusing on social norms and how society can put pressure on individuals. This video will show evidence of how child marriage is damaging to society.
Video 2 – How child marriages affect keeping girls in school and the consequences.
Video 3 - Risks of contracting HIV/AIDS and suffering domestic violence.
Video 4 - Child marriage is illegal. However, enforcing the ban on child marriage is not defined within the penal code. We want to advocate for all Uganda community, including decision-makers.
Video 5- Focusing on positive actions that we can take as individuals that added together have a large impact on the community. With aims to change social norms on Child Marriage.

2. Radio program. We want to reach communities without access to TV, newspaper, and social media. A weekly program presenting real stories from girls and women that got married at a young age, and that can now speak out about the consequences of this practice, and at the same time, empower girls and adolescents to complete their education and have a better future.

We want to see Uganda free of child marriages and teenage pregnancies where girls live to their full potential! Thanks for your support. Together, we can make this possible!
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Organizer

Elizabeth Hynes 
Organizer
The Hague

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