Children who are married before they turn 18 are at a high risk of exposure to violence, exploitation and abuse. Child marriage negatively impacts their rights to education, health and protection. It ends childhood.
GMP Relief and Development partner, Hosanna Ministries, works with vulnerable children in the slums of Mumbai, through the Prakash Tekadi Project. GMP partners, Danny and Smita who work from the Emmanuel Education Centre in the Prakash Tekadi slum, are familiar with the challenges and problems associated with child marriage. They advocate for children like Priti.
Danny and Smita have known Priti for the last five years. On the surface, Priti,16, has been a punctual student who is determined to complete her education. However, digging deeper, we find that her parents had other plans for her.
Priti comes from a family living in poverty, with limited resources. Priti’s parents, out of desperation, wished to marry off their daughter for money. Marriage would end Priti’s education, and her childhood.
When hearing this, Smita advocated for Priti’s right to an education. Smita talked to Priti’s mother and convinced her that education was important and not to marry Priti so soon.
One moment of intervention changed Priti’s life forever.
According to UNICEF, each year in India an estimated 1.5 million girls under 18 get married. Thanks to your support of Emmanuel Education Centre, Priti will not be one of them.
Stopping child marriages improves circumstances for girls like Priti. Hosanna Ministries also helps girls vulnerable to child marriage by improving health and nutrition, supporting the transition from primary to secondary school, and helping girls to develop skills to realise their economic potential.
Emmanuel Education Centre provides a nutritious meal daily for children, literacy programs and vocational training for women and youth. Priti says, “I am very grateful to my teachers who have helped me every day to complete my study.”
Priti is confident about her future. She completed her matriculation examination. “I am very happy to score good marks,” Priti said. Priti has been accepted for an apprenticeship with a good company. This is a two-year skills training program after which she will get a job in the same company.
Your support of Hosanna Ministries, and the Prakash Tekadi Project, provides education and healthcare to girls like Priti. This support will help raise the standard of living and enable the community to break the cycle of poverty.