For a young girl, an early marriage is bound to create problems. My students are well aware of the negativities that child marriage brings with it. They talk of apprehension for starting a new life with a man, working domestically at his home and then bearing his children. They know that they are merely old enough to take care of themselves, let alone bear a child and then cater for the whole family. They feel deprived and scared because they know that succumbing to the pressure is the only way their parents are going to keep their honors intact. But I feel their distress and I want to be able to do something about it.
I think it’s time that all of us step in the shoes of our young girls and try to feel what they go through. Why sacrifice their happiness in the name of honor? Why believe that they are a burden on us when they are the ones who care for us more than the boys? The responsibility to bring about a change lies on our shoulders. How willing are you?
The following day, FIDA’s field staff visited a nearby village and found Hameeda teaching her brothers how to properly wash their hands with soap. Hameeda’s mother told FIDA’s female Public Health Promoters that Hameeda had come home and told everyone in her extended family what she had learned about the importance of personal hygiene.
Now Hameeda is motivating everyone in her family and at the Child Protection Center to adopt proper hand washing methods. She has become FIDA's youngest, honorary Public Health Promoter.
See her case study here.