30 Saturday, December 2017

What your support made happen in 2017! 

As a bright new year quickly approaches, Too Young to Wed (TYTW) would like to thank you for your tremendous support throughout 2017, our biggest year yet for helping child brides share their stories with the world to inspire people everywhere to act to help end early, child, and forced marriage, and protect girls’ rights.

Back in January, TYTW founder Stephanie Sinclair highlighted the dangerous lives of girls in the developing world as part of National Geographic’s powerful “Gender Revolution” issue. Her photo of nine-year-old Aarti from the series was named as one of the magazine’s Best Pictures of 2017. That same month, The New York Times featured our groundbreaking treansmedia project on Nigerian teens who had escaped captivity and forced marriage at the hands of Boko Haram.

Aarti, nine, is vulnerable to sexual violence as she sells flowers alone on a rain-swept Delhi street. Despite the risk, millions of children around the world work to help support their families instead of attending school. Alternately, they are often married off at young ages.

TYTW’s devotion to advocacy through storytelling continued throughout the year in global publications, and a variety of film festivals and photography exhibits, the largest being the inaugural exhibition in the new gallery space atop Paris’ Grande Arche de la Defense. For four months, the awe-inspiring gallery showcased larger-than-life TYTW prints, including one of three Boko Haram survivors, which hung like massive tapestry from the ceiling, giving the girls an inescapable presence in the room. Several TYTW images are also part of an exciting new exhibition called Women Photograph Women which opens this week, December 30, at the Centro Internazionale di Fotografia in Palermo, Italy.

In August, Sinclair and several TYTW volunteers traveled to Maralal, Kenya, for our second Tehani Photo Workshop, named for an 8-year-old bride in Yemen. The five-day workshop, in partnership with the Samburu Girls Foundation and generously supported this year by our friends at Canon USA, provides child marriage survivors an opportunity to learn basic documentary photography skills, and also helps girls acquire tools to manage their trauma, express themselves, advocate for girls’ rights, and become mentors in subsequent workshops and in their communities.

In November, images shot by participants and mentors from this year’s workshop were included in the month-long World Press Photo exhibit in November in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Lightscape D.C. The exhibition also included several of Sinclair’s TYTW images from her 2017 International Women’s Media Foundation’s Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. The workshop participants’ stories were also featured in The New York Times, Refinery29, CNN, and National Geographic’s Instagram page reaching tens of millions of viewers worldwide as the year concluded.

Your generous support also funded TYTW’s outreach program, which included renewing educational scholarships for girls in Nepal and Kenya, and founding new ones in Nigeria.

We cannot stress it enough: TYTW’s wildly successful year could not have been possible without your support. We deeply appreciate your efforts to help us empower these brave young women and the thousands of girls just like them around the world.

Whether you’re looking for charitable giving options in the waning hours of 2017 or are seeking one for 2018, please consider giving to Too Young to Wed to help us protect girls’ rights and end child marriage. Give before December 31st and your donation will be eligible for a 2017 tax deduction.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!