Children on the Edge supports a number of programmes that focus on ending child marriage. We are also part of a network called ‘Girls Not Brides’ and would like to encourage our supporters to join in their latest campaign, entitled #MyLifeAt15. This is the global campaign calling on governments to implement the new global target to end child marriage by 2030.
What is it about?
A girl born in the year 2000, who is now 15, has never known a world that was not fighting to end poverty thanks to the Millennium Development Goals — but these goals didn’t adequately address girls and their needs. Last weekend countries gathered at the UN to approve the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the world-wide action plan to solve some of our biggest problems by 2030 and, this time, ending child marriage is in their plans (target 5.3).
With the launch of the Global Goals, now that same girl as a teenager can be part of the fight against inequality and injustice, and the movement to end child marriage by 2030.
#MyLifeAt15 is happening from the 1st -12th October, mainly in the run up to the International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC). The campaign celebrates the dreams and ambitions we held at the age of 15, in support of every girl today having the opportunity to achieve hers, without child marriage holding her back.
How to take action
This campaign is a great opportunity to show your government and international leaders that there is real demand for action to end child marriage. This is how you can take part:
- Post a picture of yourself on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram and describe what your ambitions and dreams were for the future when you were 15 years old. Tag Children on the Edge and use the hashtags #MyLifeAt15 and #EndChildMarriage.
- Share a picture of yourself at age 15 with your #MyLifeAt15 description and tags.
- Camera shy? Just share a photo of the #MyLIfeAt15 sign, write on it if you like.
- This campaign is launching on the 1st October and is using ‘Throwback Thursday’ or #TBT, a popular online hashtag for sharing content from the past, to kick off the photo drive. This is especially good for photos of yourself at 15. When you share your first #MyLifeAt15 photo on Thursday October 1st or 8th October, be sure to tag your photos with #TBT and #EndChildMarriage to reach broader audiences.
Do another post on International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC) on 11th October. This year’s theme is “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030”, which focuses on the importance of investing in adolescent girls’ empowerment and rights, placing them at the centre of sustainable development.
Find out more about the campaign and download a toolkit, this includes actions you can take if you aren't fond of social media!
Find out about how we are working to prevent child marriage in Bangladesh.
Children on the Edge have been involved in providing education for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon for over a year and a half but naturally since the refugee crisis in Europe hit our TV screens and papers, we have had many more enquiries about how to help, and about what our general response is. Here is a brief statement that hopefully answers most of these.
Where can funding help best?
Funding can make the most difference in the border areas around Syria. Less than 2% of those displaced by the current conflict have made the journey to Europe. The project we support in the Syrian refugee settlements in Lebanon needs a lot of help. The UN still only has a third of the funding needed for refugees in the border areas around Syria. This has resulted in a severe cut in rations and is one of the main push factors for refugees into Europe, forcing them to make long and dangerous journeys. Recent EU discussions have suggested that the UN will get an increase in their budget but this will take much time to materialise.
What about those in Europe?
We are currently not pursuing any project for those refugees in Europe as the media attention is so strongly focussed on this area, there is a lot of aid being directed there. In truth, the most vulnerable people would not be able to attempt a trip to Europe and our policy is to focus, where we can, on the most vulnerable and where the vast majority of refugees reside.
With regards to European arrivals, we believe that refugees need to be registered properly, not turned away and not put in internment camps. A Europe wide co-ordinated effort is necessary to process people and identify genuine asylum seekers so they can get support. If you wish to voice your concerns, and urge for a humane, co-ordinated and effective EU response, Amnesty have an e-mail link that is useful.
What about the British government’s response?
Children on the Edge feel that the response of the British government with regards to admitting 20,000 people over 5 years is inadequate. At least 20,000 each year for 5 years would be an appropriate response. However we welcome their focus on taking refugees direct from the border camps and the input of aid into these border areas through DFID.
Find out more about our work in Lebanon
Donate to the project
The arrival of a swathe of Syrian refugees has prompted a huge media and public response. Whether it’s the coverage of open armed villagers, to closed borders, self concern or generous compassion, it’s been all over our televisions and news feeds in the last few weeks.
For over a year now, Children on the Edge has been supporting work with Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Lebanon hasn’t had the kind of media spotlight that Europe has currently, but the problem is much worse. Despite the focus of the world on the crisis in Europe, these countries still contain less than 2% of the 12 million displaced Syrian population, around 0.25 million. Contrast this with the well over a million refugees in Lebanon, just a one small country, then you can start to imagine the problem.
Only one third of the necessary funding has been received by the UN for all border camps around Syria, meaning that in recent months food and other rations for the refugees have been severely cut.
If you feel stirred to help with the refugee crisis, then please do consider the following: