Find out how a CCFC project is saving girls from early, forced marriages
By Patrice Zongo, communications manager, Burkina Faso
In the Eastern region of Burkina Faso, 67.3 percent of girls are likely to face a forced marriage before their 18th birthday, according to State statistics.
Children who walk far to school every day are most at risk of being snatched and held against their will.
Lompoua (not her real name), a 12-year-old girl in Grade 5, understands all too well. She miraculously escaped an abduction for an early, forced marriage.
Victims of this practice are often kidnapped, hidden and locked away like prisoners; many are raped until they conceive. After they have one or two children, the kidnapper — who often goes into hiding — reveals himself to the girl’s parents who would rather approve the union than further risk their daughter’s reputation.
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), with financial support from UNICEF and help from local partners, is working to free several girls in the Eastern region of Burkina Faso from this violence.
Fortunately, Lompoua’s teacher was informed of her kidnapping plot and discretely alerted CCFC who partnered with the local child-protection agency to resolve the issue.
The suspected kidnapper and his parents apologized, promising to leave the student to continue her education.
Lompoua was the tenth girl rescued by our team since June.
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About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada works globally to support children and youth who dream of a better world. For nearly 60 years, we’ve brought together diverse people and partnerships, driven by a common belief: education extends beyond the walls of a classroom and is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world. We focus on breaking barriers preventing access to inclusive, quality education for all, especially girls.