Too young to marry

Every three seconds, a girl is married off somewhere in the world – this has worsened significantly due to the impact of COVID-19. Child marriage forces girls out of school and they often fall pregnant before their bodies are fully developed, creating a cycle of malnutrition and taking away their opportunity to create their own future.

When girls marry later, a new world opens up for them: they have the opportunity to be educated and healthy. Not only do they benefit as individuals, the whole society benefits! Educated girls take an active role in their communities to ensure the rights of other women are upheld, and they also go on to have healthier children – effectively interrupting the cycle of poverty and malnutrition.


What we do about it:

1. We educate girls to make them aware of their rights and empower them to speak up for themselves and others

2. We train animators (local volunteer leaders) to work within their communities and educate people on the negative consequences of child marriage for girls.

3. We run school programs to equip girls with negotiation skills so they can have conversations with their parents about child marriage.




Sumaiya’s story


I have been living in my grandmother’s house in the city of Charghat in Rajshahi (Bangladesh) since I was a young. Although I am only in the eighth grade, I have faced some difficult times in my life. Once I reached puberty, my family arranged my marriage.


Having to leave school and get married was terrifying to me and I did not want to get married, especially because I knew the risks and consequences of child marriage. Of course, I was not able to stop the marriage alone. Rita Apu, a volunteer of the Hunger Project helped me tell my mother and grandmother about the consequences of child marriage. She also highlighted the legal aspects of child marriage in Bangladesh.


Knowing all of this, my family stopped my marriage. I am grateful to Riya Apu and The Hunger Project, thanks to whom my life is my own. I want to continue my education and be a doctor when I grow up.