Encouraging young children to stay in school by helping them earn their own money.
Kamalini Pradhan is a ‘Yuva Mitra’ (Youth’s Friend/Change agent) in Agalpur village, Balangir district, Orissa. She was married off at the age of 17, just after finishing high school. She talks about the trauma she went through at a very young age due to motherhood, financial burdens, chaos in the family, mental and health disorders.
Kamalini’s story is just 1 of many other girls in 400 villages where DF and 20 partner organizations are seeking to bring an end to child marriage. Yuva Mitras like Kamalini, nearly 2,400 of them, have been trained to provide inputs onrnadolescent health to more than 30,000 youth who meet in youth clubs, discuss issues affecting their lives and participate in community work. This initiative enables girls to gather courage and convince their parents and elders in the community, not to marry them off early, but to support their aspirations to study further, acquire vocational skills and earn a decent living to support their lives.