Message from the founder
Child marriage and teenage pregnancy often occurs in the shadows of poverty and gender inequality, impeding efforts to empower girls and boys and achieve long-term, sustainable development. It is both a symptom and a cause of ongoing development challenges, as the practice of child marriage and teenage pregnancy further contributes to economic hardship, human rights violations, and under-investment in the educational and health care needs of children. It is with great pleasure that I share with you the organization’s vision for ending child marriage & teenage pregnancy and meeting the needs of married children, designed to complement the already existing strategies globally, this vision reaffirms our commitment to preventing and responding to any form of act that could lead to child marriage and teenage pregnancy. I am so grateful to a number of individuals, organizations, companies at both national and international level who invest in their efforts, resources and time to contribute to ending this problem and humbly ask them to join us and together we say, “girls are girls not brides”. Ending child marriage and teenage pregnancy will not only remove a major barrier to global progress, but also help ensure a world where girls can look forward to growing up. Together, we can build a future in which all girls have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Finally, it will take all of us united together to end this problem.
Message from the board president
The world is by now awakened to the realities and effects of child marriages in Africa. For generations, young girls worldwide have had their destinies destroyed or altered for socio-cultural and economic reasons due to the prevalence of Child Marriages on the continent. Now, the horrors of child marriages do not end with emotional and physical abuse the young girls face; it permeates into many areas of their lives for many years. The fact that young victims are forced out of school at a very young age means further alienation from opportunities and lifetime dividends that education offers. Besides, gender inequalities are further extended over generations as more girls leave education to assume marital roles prematurely in their adolescent years.
At the same time, child marriage can have life-threatening health consequences for girls who are often under pressure to become mothers soon after marriage. Due to a lack of assertiveness over matters affecting their health, many child brides become pregnant before their bodies can safely carry or deliver children. This situation further puts them and their family at risk even after their children are born.
Casey Foundation Africa was founded in the first quarter of 2020. We are a not for profit organisation whose mission is to promote a culture of safeguarding the interests of girl children in Africa and advocate for more inclusive and empowering policies for young girls. Our organisation believes that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can make a better place for everyone, particularly the marginalised groups, girls inclusive. While the onus is on all responsible individuals and organisations, I am proud to join and lead a great team of talented and motivated changemakers committed to changing the trajectory and narrative of girl children in Africa.
I, on behalf of the Casey Foundation Africa Team, wish to advance an invitation to national and international partnerships and coalitions with organisations, companies and individuals committed to investing in impactful change to join us in this transformational journey to explore solutions to ending child marriages in Africa.
Message from the board vice president
I stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me thinking what can I do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther ~ Rupi Kaur.
Uganda is home to 5 million child brides. Of these, 1.3 million married before age 15 (Source: UNICEF global databases, 2020. Demographic data are from the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019). World Population Prospects 2019, Online Edition. Rev. 1) We, therefore, must have the resolve and courage to stop this high prevalence of child marriage in the country as it impoverishes the girls, women, and fundamentally their communities. Everyone wins when girls are empowered to express their opinions, as well as engage decision-makers. We stand at a point where every effort to achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls is strengthened and sustained when harmful practices such as child marriages are stopped. It is my pleasure to work in a team whose mission is to end child marriages and teenage pregnancies through livelihoods and economic empowerment interventions designed to complement the already existing strategies globally.
With great honor, I invite individuals, companies, and organizations nationally and internationally to join us in this fight intended to ensure that all girls live to attain their full potential.