The Changemaker Program supports changemaking activities of young talent to ensure a better future for children’s rights! The program is intended for everyone between 12 and 24 years that wants to contribute to a lasting change for children’s rights in their communities and beyond. Support these changemakers and contribute to the KidsRights Changemakers Program. Together we can move the world!
One of these changemakers is Moni, finalist of the Children´s Peace Prize 2018. Moni, 17, lives in a village in northern Bangladesh. Moni became inspired to act at a young age, when her sister came home, abused by her much older husband who she married at age 12. Moni did not understand what happened right away, but she saw the bruises on her sister. When Moni herself was 12 she tried to interrupt the marriage of a close friend. It failed, but it made Moni more determined than ever.
In Bangladesh many girls face an early marriage, the country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. Between 2010 and 2017 59% of Bangladeshi girls married before their 18th birthday. Child marriages have many harmful consequences, including health issues due to early pregnancies, lower educational outcomes for girls and higher prevalence of domestic abuse and poverty. Moni tries to convince the people in her village and the surrounding communities to give girls the chance to develop their own future, to get an education and to empower them. It is best for the girls, the family and the community.
Moni started the Child Marriage Eradication Club in 2014. By foot she went to all the surrounding villages to mobilize girls who wanted to join her in her fight. The club now consists of 70 girls who Moni educated on the issues surrounding child marriage. Together with her club she has been able to stop more than 200 child marriages already. Moni has also established a support system within her club which issues microloans to the families to pay for their daughters’ education, far more useful to families, in her view, than early marriage. Moni demonstrates that it is never impossible to challenge social expectations and traditional gender roles to do what you believe is right.
“Influence the family, let her grow. If given the opportunity, she can become the whole world.”
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