With the strongly held belief that collective Action is needed to end Child Marriage, a practice that robs millions of Girls of their human rights, Joy for Children led the creation & serves as the co-chair of the 50 member Ugandan National Alliance to End Child Marriage, a response to the call by The Elders’ (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela’s wife Graca Machel, Mary Robinson, Jimmy Carter & others) to end the practice of child marriage in one generation.
As a member of Girls Not Brides International, The National Alliance was instrumental in the adoption of Uganda’s first National Strategy on Child Marriage in a country with nearly 40% of girls under 18 married, one of the highest rates in the world. The new National Strategy is a big step forward in fulfilling the commitments that were made at The Girl Summit in London, 2014.
As a top priority of Joy for Children, advocacy efforts have focused on petitioning Parliament to consider the effects of child marriage: condemning a girl to continue to live in poverty, often denying her an education, & increasing maternal & child health risks ~ all outcomes that not only affect the individual girl but prevent Uganda from advancing on reaching key Sustainable Development Goals.
Joy for Children works closely with communities to change common beliefs, practices and traditions that force, coerce, sell or otherwise compel girls to enter into marriage. Our innovative holistic model, Girls Empower, has seen transformative changes in perceptions and practices around child marriage in Western Uganda
Co-Chair of Girls Not Brides, The Ugandan National Alliance to end Child Marriage
Empowering girls to stay in school thru incentives like a Gift of a Goat and direct disbursement of School Fees
Formation of school based clubs which give girls an opportunity to share issues affecting them
Developing district action plans to end child marriage
Engagement of leaders
Policy advocacy and following up on government commitments to end child marriage