International (MNN) — Kids around the world are susceptible to child marriage, and their vulnerability stems from multiple factors. David Lovett of Operation Mobilization USA outlines a few in the report below.
“It’s illegal; it’s not supposed to be happening,” Lovett says. “But still, it is a rampant issue across South Asia, the Middle East, and that part of the world.”
OM USA partners globally with churches and NGOs to prevent child marriage, rescue at-risk children, and give kids a different future – one rooted in Christ’s love and hope. Here’s how you can help.
Circumstances vary by culture and region, but poverty underlies many parents’ decisions to support child marriage. “People are just so poor. You’re looking at how you can have less of an economic burden,” Lovett describes. Without education or a way to financially contribute to their parents’ household, girls and young women lack viable options.
“They’re stuck in this position that their future is only in getting married. And it’s often the younger, the better.”
According to the UN, approximately 650 million girls and women alive today were married as children. As VOA News describes, the coronavirus pandemic places an additional burden on girls in sub-Saharan Africa.
3 ways to help
Now that you know, how will you respond? Lovett describes three ways to help end child marriage.
Prayer surpasses geographic and circumstantial barriers. Use the prompts listed alongside this article to guide your intercession. Pray child marriage would end globally, and that people would see women as Christ sees them.
Together with their partners, OM USA empowers girls and women through education and vocational training. You can support their efforts here. “We have been doing what we can for the last few decades to address this [issue] through projects [designed] to empower young women with a skill that would help them have a way to support themselves,” Lovett says.
“Every time you see a young woman’s life transformed and there’s a sense of restored hope and dignity, it makes it all worthwhile.”
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Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of amyannbrockmeyer via Pixabay.