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Plan International and Brides do Good Partner in Lebanon to End Child Marriage

This #YouthDay, we are incredibly proud to announce the launch of Brides do Good and Plan International UK's groundbreaking partnership, uniting to combat child marriage in Lebanon.

Over the years we have helped fund several projects with Plan, including in Egypt and our longer-term work in Ethiopia, helping South Sudanese refugees and their host communities access safe, quality schooling, in an attempt to undo the ongoing harm caused by civil unrest and violence.

However at Brides do Good we have always believed in having the courage to do things differently, and shaking things up to make a difference. After the success of our #OnlyaGirl campaign in contributing to the criminalisation of Child Marriage in England and Wales, we knew we wanted to focus on Lebanon, the home country of our Founder Chantal Khoueiry.

Child marriage is a growing concern in Lebanon, where the ongoing economic and humanitarian crises, compounded by the pandemic, has led to school closures and increased poverty and inequalities, resulting in a rise in early marriages.

Currently, there is no nationwide law in Lebanon prohibiting marriage under the age of 18.

Over the recent months we have been in incredibly exciting talks with the team at Plan International UK, with whom we are launching our first partnership to help end child marriage. Not purely as a funder, but as an advocate and campaigner for change.

As an organisation we know our strength is in our appetite to think creatively, challenge the status quo and draw on our network within the fashion world to make noise. We can't let you in on our plans yet, but we can't wait to show you what we create together.

Watch this space and sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know more, and find out how you can help.

Samiha's Story

Lebanese Samiha in traditional dress

18-year-old Samiha has been living in Lebanon since 2013 when she fled the conflict in Syria. When she was 16 a boy asked Samiha to marry him.

"I was 16 years and he was nice and respectful. But I didn't want to. I felt that I hadn't fulfilled my goals and dreams and my mother and brother let me decide."

"At the same time I feel pressure from society that I should marry. People say: "Perhaps nobody will want you when you are twenty?" But I don't care. Who says that I even want to get married? I want to decide my future and live my life."

Samiha attended a child marriage workshop organised by Plan International at a support centre for vulnerable Syrian and Lebanese children.

"Here at the centre I have learned more about why child marriage is detrimental. It is a threat to the girl's health and life, it prevents her from getting an education and a profession – all her future prospects. She loses all her rights and her freedom."

Lebanese Samiha in school learning women's empowerment


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