A message from Naza:
Dear family & friends,
As you may be aware the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is an issue that is close to my heart and I am reaching out for the third year running to raise awareness – and vital funds – to support children there most in need.
This year has been a uniquely challenging one for all of us – and for children in Yemen, especially girls.
Yemen is home to 4 million child brides. Of these, 1.4 million are married before they reach the age of 15. Young girls are married off losing the chance of an education and facing increased risk of death in pregnancy and delivery.
Girls who marry are not only denied their childhood. They are often socially isolated, cut off from family and friends and other sources of support, with limited opportunities for education and employment.
Child marriage has been exacerbated by the ongoing conflict which has left children and families in urgent need of food, water, and medical supplies. Currently, 1.71 million children are internally displaced and 80% of Yemen’s population are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Despite the ongoing suffering, I know that it is possible to make a meaningful difference. UNICEF has been working with partners to empower thousands of adolescent girls with life-skills to increase their capacity to express and exercise their choice. UNICEF is also working to equip parents, communities, and girls themselves with skills and information to continue with their education in order to prevent child marriage.
We must act now to protect girls in Yemen and that is why I am urging you to join me in supporting UNICEF.
Thank you for your ongoing love and support.
All my love,
Amina was forced to leave school when she was 11 years old in their settlement on the outskirts of Aden, Yemen. She was then married off by her father at the age of 16 to a man in his thirties for a small amount of money.
After undergoing severe psychological abuse and suffering terrible violence at the hands of her husband, her family managed to negotiate a divorce.
A man came and asked my father to marry me, and he agreed immediately. I did not have any choice as my father makes the rules in the house. I was thrown into a life that I was completely clueless about.
A breakthrough moment
Amina’s breakthrough moment came when she was connected with a case worker who provided some psychological support following her experience.
She eventually joined a UNICEF supported programme where she received training and support to start a small tailoring business and now earns a small salary to support her family and herself.
*Name changed to protect privacy
When child marriage is prevented, children get back their right to fulfil their potential.