One in three girls is married before the age of 18 in developing countries worldwide, and more than half of all sexual assaults take place against girls who are younger than 16 (UN). Child, early and forced marriage often forces girls to drop out of school, making it virtually impossible for them to break out of the cycle of poverty. Early marriage often leads to early pregnancy as well, which increases the likelihood of health complications for both mother and child.
What CARE is Doing:
The TEMPS project is implemented in eight municipalities in Benin (Departments of Borgou, Alibori and Couffo) and eight municipalities (Mopti and Timbuktu regions) in Mali in collaboration with local partners. These very important local partner organizations are: GRASID-ONG and Equi-Filles in Benin; YAGTU and the consortium CAID/ARDIL in Mali. In total in both countries, the initiative will reach 21,365 direct beneficiaries and 1,119,082 indirect beneficiaries.
The overall objective of the initiative is to contribute to strengthening prevention and mitigation of the effects of child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) of girls in Benin and Mali in high-prevalence areas. More specifically, both project teams will carry out activities related to social transformation within the communities, setting up mechanisms for the care of survivors of CEFM and developing strategic alliances and advocacy.
What CARE is Doing, Continued:
In collaboration with local partners, CARE has helped communities in Mali and Benin develop strategies for social transformation, which is the key to ending child, early and forced marriage. Some of these strategies include:
- Education and training for students about their sexual and educational rights and the harms of CEFM
- Organize youth camps during school vacation and involve school clubs in the fight against CEFM
- Engage with community groups, law enforcement officials and traditional religious leaders to ensure their support for the project. Find champions within these same groups to promote the project and social transformation
- Support village saving and loan association (VSLA) members so that they are able to support girls who are survivors of, or vulnerable to CEFM through social, financial and technical assistance to become empowered individuals in their communities
- Reach 21,365 direct beneficiaries and 1,119,082 indirect beneficiaries in both Mali and Benin