What did young people say?
“Child marriage is denying children in my community their right to childhood and their right to education. Once they can’t continue their education, that means their dreams come to an end.”
Sarafina, 18, Ghana
“Before World Vision came to discuss child marriage, I didn’t really think about child marriage being that big and I didn’t really realise how big that topic was and how important it was. That really inspired me and I wrote a poem for a school project.
I’m a child. And I was born to have a childhood.
My child life leaves me as I turn back to my reality.
I’m 14. I was born to make mistakes.
But this mistake will be the unbearable,
The target for my next generation.
I am a girl. Shall I escape war?
My delighting path becomes a path to death and regret.
I’m uneducated. Feeling like I will fall.
Deeply into the jaws of misery,
As my life is sold to an ageing man, who will destroy my childhood life. I am a mother. I protect my child.
And as a safety. I make sure her future doesn’t get ruined away. Just like mine.
Alessandro, 18, UK
“There are 250 million women/girls alive today that were married before the age of 15. I can’t even comprehend how huge that is.
"The prevalence of child marriage is holding humanity back. This cycle of violence and poverty, when a young person is trapped into child marriage, stops them from being able to continue with their education and then later down the line it limits their opportunities to leave and find employment and be able to provide for themselves.
"You can only imagine the consequences that that has on the rest of the world; the amazing doctors, lawyers that we are missing out on because of child marriage.”
Disha, 18, UK
“The self-centred initiatives should be supported so that we can have a voice to air out what we are going through, so that we can mobilise the community and the local people for them to also support us for we need them.”
Lidia, 17, Kenya
“The Covid pandemic has highlighted the importance of electronics and computers that are more expensive that textbooks. We are coming into a digital age not just in day-to-day life but education too and that’s why it’s so important we stay on top of this.
“In some ways the issues are very different across nations – but in other ways they’re remarkably similar.”
Jack, 17, UK