We Say No to Child Marriage

Ending Child Marriage

Bridgers considers advocating and lobbying with traditional and religious leaders to promote campaigns on ending child marriage in our communities. If religious authorities continue and intensify preaching messages that x-ray the ills associated with child marriage, then it will foster the STOP CHILD MARRIAGE CAMPAIGN. If traditional leaders as custodians of traditions and customs, which are the most powerful driving forces of child marriage, call for the elimination of these rules and practices then chances of a final ending of this practice are much more feasible. Other stakeholders remain very important.

Child marriage as a global problem has existed from time immemorial. This practice occurs nearly everywhere in the world and most often it goes unnoticed. Over the years, many actions designed to fight against this practice have proven abortive, and constitute just a drop on a hot stone. But what if we send a whole waterfall, instead of just a few drops to eliminate this practice entirely?
 
The underlying reasons for the re-occurrence of the said practice is embedded in the fact that marriage is considered universally as the privacy of each individual or family amidst guiding laws and principles. Marriage procedures are highly regarded in most settings as traditional norms and customs which are well guarded.
 
Thus, many parents force their children into child; forced and early marriages as a result of customs/show of wealth or rather poverty. Nevertheless, for whatever reasons people perpetrate the practice of child marriage, the outcome in most cases is often regrettable at the nearest or long future: one of the world’s greatest man Mahatma Gandhi got married at the age of 13 but later on thought of his early marriage with shame and so he did much to turn his people away from the custom of child marriage (CAROL Christian 1973).
 
 
Gandhi could be counted lucky to have regretted a child marriage simply with shame, some others deeply regret with an agony emanating from unpersued dreams, related health issues, victimized violence leading to low self esteem and worst of all curtailed education.

Therefore, worthy of note is the fact that child marriage is at the core center of very many varied forms of violence perpetrated on children across the globe, especially on girls. As such, to tackle the varying problems adults especially women go through today, we must try to attack the bottom causes of these social issues which are linked to child marriage in many cases.
 
Child-marriage most often prevent young girls from seeking education and attaining independence, as they are bound to their role as a submissive wife and mother.
 
As Maria Montessori puts it: “the education which entails providing for the real needs of the child would produce a wise and happy adults” (CAROL Christian 1973). By this, Maria Montessori implied that it takes appropriate molding from childhood to achieve a great future.
 
Thus, in order to foster efforts towards attaining our main mission of women empowerment in a sustainable manner, much efforts should also be concentrated towards nurturing and empowering children through quality education so as to avoid to a greater extend the problems faced when they metamorphose in to women.
 
We at Bridgers Association Cameroon are therefore resolute to exterminating early child marriages through advocacy and charitable donations in preparedness for a brighter future for our future women.

Our advocacy strategies in this area involves:

Our team of passionate volunteers is always ready to go even to the most remote villages for the results.
  • Massive sensitization campaigns in workshops/round table discussions and seminars against child marriage.
  • Awareness raising campaigns including door to door that will expose the negative effects associated with child marriage.
  • Promotion of quality education for the girl child.
  • Psycho-social rehabilitation and support victims of child marriage in order to appropriately strike a balance in their mind sets
  • Advocate for traditional leaders to facilitate and implement changes in their customs and traditions linked to child marriage, breast ironing and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Stop Early Marriage

Child Marriage is the cause of varied forms of domestic violence.
 
Child Marriage Leads to Child Trafficking
 
Child Marriage promotes Child Labour
 
Child Marriage causes mother and infant mortality
 
Child Marriage causes obstetric fistula in young girls
 
Child marriage depicts curtailed education for children especially the girl child.
AZAH Jackline CHEY; General Coordinator of Bridgers Association Cameroon carried out an in depth research on the laws {both national and International} relating to Child Marriage which constitutes her Masters Degree (LL.M) Dissertation titled: “The Justice System and Early Child Marriage in Cameroon.” Thus, she has the necessary knowledge and expertise to work on this topic. 
 
During her research, she identified many potential projects which are to be realised by Bridgers Association Cameroon in the domain of ending child marriage as well as rehabilitating the victims of this barbaric slavery in the name of marriage which have many negative consequences.
 
Peruse her full dissertation Here
 
Fighting to end child marriage is fighting a noble cause that procures the futures of victims and their offspring/ generations yet to come.
 

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