The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through its #ChildrenUprooted programme is making concerted efforts to help Ethiopian refugee children combat violence and child marriage. They establish safe zones for them and protect their right to quality education upholding the belief that #AChildIsAChild, no matter what.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra was in the African country to highlight these efforts recently. She went to refugee camps and schools in Ethiopia and interacted with the students there.
It was on this visit that she met a 15-year-old girl named Hasina who had an inspiring story to tell. The actress took to social media to share it and people were moved by the brave teen’s spirit.
“This is Hasina (15), she is a 7th-grade student who loves to go to school. She used to live with her sister and her husband, and without her knowing, her sisters’ husband was arranging her marriage to one of his friends…she was 12 at the time.”
She goes on to outline her life and rebellious act saying,
“One day when the man visited her house to pester her parents to marry her, she escaped to a friends house and the next day went to one of the community-based child’s marriage prevention platforms, alone.”
Thankfully the man in question was charged by the authorities. Here is the entire post.
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This is Hasina (15), she is a 7th grade student who loves to go to school. She used to live with her sister and her husband, and without her knowing, her sisters’ husband was arranging her marriage to one of his friends…she was 12 at the time. One day when the man visited her house to pester her parents to marry her, she escaped to a friends house and the next day went to one of the community-based child’s marriage prevention platforms (alone), which she had heard about at school. She asked herself, if She married now, would she ever go back to school again? Hasina loves learning and wasn’t willing to trade her education or freedom for anything.That gave her the courage to stand up for herself. The community, along with the authorities, stepped in and stopped the marriage. The man was charged. It’s important to understand that it takes an immense amount of courage to go against these cultural “norms” that have existed for centuries. Hasina is a very brave girl. It was so heartening to see the elders in the community learning from the examples these young girls are setting, standing up against child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting. Education gave these girls that perspective. This community is an example of how change is possible. FEMALE RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS. To make a difference and learn more about @Unicef’s efforts, visit UNICEF. Link in bio.
It was only through formal education that Hasina gathered the courage to stand up against society and her own family. She was also instrumental in changing the mindsets of the elders through her decision. We hope that she continues her schooling and go on to achieve great things.