Amazing Youssef helps rescue child brides
Youssef, 18, rescues teen friends from marriage
WHO? Youssef is an 18-year old student who helps rescue child bridges from forced marriages.
WHERE? A rural town near Giza in Egypt.
WHY? Forced under-age marriage is common in the community. Two of Youssef’s friends in school became child brides. With a 15-year old sister, he wanted to do something to stop this dreadful situation.
HOW? Youssef is part of a youth club that campaigns against child marriage. They work together to persuade the community that it’s wrong for any girl or boy to be forced into marriage.
BOYS RESCUING CHILD BRIDES
One of Youssef’s friends was forced into marriage at age 14 by her uncle. He was the father of the groom. She had to drop out of school, became pregnant, and was isolated from her friends by her husband.
It had a profound effect on Youssef, who joined the youth club to make a difference.
The youths have had some opposition from sections of the community. Many are lawyers who make a lot of money from these marriages. But they have also had backing from a local Sheikh and a group of other lawyers. They have joined forces with the club and work with the boys to fight child marriage.
2 girls whose lives have changed
- Zainab’s* parents forced her to get marriage at 14. She dropped out of school and quickly got pregnant, but suffered two miscarriages. Thanks to Youssef and his friends’ intervention, her husband agreed to let her return to school. She is now 18 and back in full-time education.
- Shazia* was 16 and her father planned to take her out of school and marry her to a cousin. Youssef and friends talked to her family and persuaded them to postpone the marriage. Now Shazia is a member of the youth group and helps to fight child marriage.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Youssef says that with so much change in Egypt in recent months, he hopes to see a change in people’s views on child marriage.
Help give girls around the world a brighter future.
Give to the Because I am a Girl Fund today!
*The names of the child brides mentioned in this story have been changed.