Educating communities on the risks of early marriage.
Children are not brides
In 2021, we are supporting Good Neighbors Vietnam in addressing child marriage in the villages of Tan Bac and Yen Thanh.
Statistics show that marriage before the age of 18 is double the national rate in Quang Binh, northern district of Vietnam.
Click below to watch Sin Thi Lien's story on YouTube. Video produced by GN Vietnam.
Why it happens
Many circumstances can lead to marriage before age 18.
Poverty and cultural context play a crucial part in child marriage. Unions are many times seen as a way to reduce cost of living, or the only option to "guarantee a future" for girls.
In other places, like the villages of Quang Binh, there is limited information about sexual and reproductive health. If a girl finds out she is pregnant, the expectation is to marry, no matter the age.
Child marriage impacts boys and girls, when they are put in the position of taking responsibilities that are far beyond their years. However, girls take the brunt of it.
Lack of information exposes girls to health problems from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to early pregnancies (and its risks for complications or unsafe abortions). Lack of maturity to make informed decisions, and marriage to older men also contribute to domestic violence.
These situations likely keep girls from getting an education, which perpetuates a cycle of gender inequality. They end up isolated and far from achieving their true potential.
Action for change
Prevention starts with information.
If youth is not prepared, they are at risk of suffering abuse, having unprotected sex, or contracting STDs.
Reproductive health education has to come from, not only friends, a few teachers, or just one person in their family. This is a process that requires active participation of the whole family, the school, and the surrounding environment. Without formal instruction in schools, and awareness of children's rights, early marriage will continue to happen.
Youth will be directly involved in furthering the message to their peers: students from two secondary schools will develop ideas for awareness campaigns on the risks of early marriage. A contest will select the best campaigns to be carried out in until December.
A new sexual and reproductive health curriculum will deliver reliable and accurate information.
There are also plans to install a new reproductive health room at the local health centre in each town. The goal is to support pregnant girls and conduct community outreach work. Good Neighbors is committed to support with training.
Good Neighbors Canada is seeking funds to ensure that over 600 students receive education and services that will empower them in their decision-making about marriage and reproduction.
We are a Canadian registered charity (Registration Number: 72273 2922 RR0001), therefore donations are eligible for a tax receipt, issued to the donor’s email. Changes and cancellations can be made anytime. Donors have the options of creating a donor account, powered by CanadaHelps DMS, to update information online. If you prefer to speak to our team, you can reach Cecile Klerks at 1 (833) 614-GOOD (4663) - Extension 703.