Sazeda was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize 2017. She lives in a community where 6 out of 10 girls are forced to marry before the age of 18. This is due to a number of reasons such as traditional customs, poverty and lack of education. If a girl is forced to be married before she is an adult, this has many negative consequences. They are often forced to drop out of school and have children at a very early age.
To stop child marriage, Sazeda is planning on doing various activities. Firstly, she wants to form youth groups to raise awareness and motivate youth to join her in her activities against child marriage. Sazeda also wants to create Stop Child Marriage Committees in various schools, with the goal of not only stopping child marriages, but also preventing drop outs after marriage.
What’s the problem?
Child marriage is a custom that is widely spread throughout Bangladesh, where Sazeda is from. It is a custom which creates a great number of limits for girls and for the fulfillment of their rights. For instance, many girls marrying as children drop out of school as a consequence. Especially in Sazeda’s region there are high odds for child marriage. UNICEF estimates that victims of this custom are around 59% of the population.
What is Sazeda’s solution?
In order to stop child marriage, Sazeda is planning on doing a number of activities. The activities are directed at increasing girls’ self-dependency, which can be achieved primarily through education.
For starters, she wants to form youth groups to raise the awareness of children on child marriage. The Youth Group Activity will take place in the form of group session, where there will be 20 peer educators to lead the sessions, for three hours a day for three days. These group sessions are meant for both girls and boys. In this way, Sazeda wants to transfer knowledge and skills. She hopes that they will understand the negative consequences of child marriage and change their behavior.
Another planned activity are to held the group sessions on child marriage in the schools. Those school sessions will take place once a month for two months. Spreading this message at the place, that, more than any, has the power to combat this custom, has a crucial value for Sazeda.
What is Sazeda’s goal?
Sazeda’s goal is to decrease the rate of child marriage among girls. She wants girls to continue their education and to not drop out of school in case of early marriage. In this way, their self-dependency will increase.
How does Sazeda work?
Sazeda will lead her project. She fiercely believes in the participation of other children to implement her project plans, and aims at strong youth capacity building. Sazeda is convinced, that spreading knowledge about the consequences of child marriage is essential to stop this custom. This is why the starting point of her activities is in schools and involves the participation of other children.
What does Sazeda need?
Who does she need?
Sazeda needs the participation and endorsement of her project by other children. Also, she needs adults believing in her cause that allow their children to participate in her activities. As well, Sazeda needs people to help her in mobilizing resources for her projects.