Knowledge is power: Eleni’s story

Eleni, from Ethiopia

When Eleni was brought before her soon-to-be husband for the first time, she was 12 years old.

“I was scared and angry because no one told me I was going to be married or that I would be leaving my family behind for another village,” says Eleni.

“I didn’t have time to think about how being married would impact my life. The ceremony was over before I knew what had happened.”

In Ethiopia one in five girls are married before the age of 15.

Eleni joined a support group for married girls run by CARE. The meetings help her learn about sexual and reproductive health, how to save and invest money, how to care for a newborn and how to communicate in a relationship.

“I spoke with my parents about the dangers of child marriage, Then I told them how education was the best way for me to help my parents live a better life.”

Eleni convinced her parents and together they spoke to her husband and he agreed on a divorce. Eleni’s mother now joins her in the support group in training the village on the dangers of early marriage and better options for girls and families.

You can help girls like Eleni.