Creating a world where
no child is
ever a bride

VOW for Girls is a growing global movement that partners with brands, individuals, and the wedding industry to end the international child marriage crisis and support girls to live lives they love.

Girls Not Brides

Our Story

Mabel van Oranje, an avid human rights activist, had an aha moment at a wedding where a couple asked for donations in lieu of gifts. What if she could marry the wedding industry to the cause she championed and end the international child marriage crisis? Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, got on board. Enter VOW for Girls, the growing global movement that partners with brands and individuals to end child marriage. VOW for Girls is a vow for the future.

The Child Marriage Crisis

girls a year become
child brides

1 girl
3 seconds

It’s a
global problem
countries, cultures, and religions

How VOW Helps

Innovative Fundraising


Brand partners build creative collaborations including, custom products and experiences to support girls.


Couples make their celebrations of love even more meaningful by incorporating VOW into their weddings, bridal showers, and anniversaries.

Wedding Industry

Wedding professionals commit to using their businesses to raise awareness of child marriage and funds to help end it by joining the VOW Pro network.

Together with brands, couples, wedding industry professionals, and everyday supporters, we are growing a global movement to end child marriage.

Learn how you can get involved

Go directly to community-based efforts to end child marriage.

Efforts include advancing girls’ rights by providing education, job training, and vital life skills. Over 177 community-based organizations in six countries currently receive grants, and 85% of those grantees are women-led organizations.

Grassroots Solutions at Scale

VOW is filling a funding gap in the global push to end child marriage: supporting efforts at the local level by focusing on effective, yet overlooked grassroots organizations that directly engage in the day-to-day lives of girls. We find, qualify, and fund these organizations with our sister organization and granting partner, the Girls First Fund.

Key Partnerships

VOW for Girls is made possible by these generous donors.

StartSmall | The Kendeda Fund | Open Society Foundations | Ford Foundation

Meet the VOW Team

Our Board

Darren Walker

Ford Foundation President and VOW Co-Founder

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Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, a $16 billion international social justice philanthropy. Under his leadership, the Ford Foundation became the first nonprofit in US history to issue a $1 billion designated social bond to stabilize nonprofit organizations in the wake of COVID-19. Before joining Ford, Darren was Vice President at Rockefeller Foundation. Previously, he was COO of Harlem’s Abyssinian Development Corporation. Darren co-founded both the US Impact Investing Alliance and the Presidents Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy. He serves on many boards, including the National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Hall, the High Line, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, and Committee to Protect Journalists.

Mabel van Oranje

Board Chair and VOW Co-Founder

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Mabel van Oranje is a serial entrepreneur for social change working globally to advance equality, freedom, and justice. During the last decade, she played a catalytic role in the global movement to end child marriage, including the creation and growth of three entities central to efforts to support girls’ futures: Girls Not Brides, the Girls First Fund, and VOW for Girls. Mabel is currently a board member of Fondation Chanel and the Sigrid Rausing Trust. She is also an advisor to Apolitical Academy Global, Co-Impact’s Gender Fund, Global Witness, and The Elders. Mabel is a global champion of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, and a co-founder and chair emeritus of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Margaret Hempel

CGRE Executive Director

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Margaret has the privilege of being the first Executive Director for CGRE. Prior to this, she served nine years as the Director of Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice at the Ford Foundation and, before that, was Vice President for Programs, American Jewish World Service, and earlier, the Vice President for Programs at the Ms. Foundation for Women. Earlier in her career, she helped design the Ford Foundation’s Reproductive Health program, worked at the Quaker United Nations Office and for Women of China Magazine based in Beijing, China. Margaret holds an M.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and is a Columbia Business School/Teachers College certified leadership coach. She is the proud mom of two, an avid reader, is dedicated to catching up on old TV series, takes pleasure in trying to grow things, and deeply believes change is necessary and possible.

Minjae Ormes

VP of Marketing, LinkedIn

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Minjae Ormes is the VP of Marketing, Global Brand, Consumer Product Marketing, and Market Research at LinkedIn, and is the newest addition to VOW’s board of directors. With 20 years of experience in marketing, technology, digital media, and entertainment, Minjae provides our Board with a variety of knowledge and expertise that will help impact our growing movement to end the global child marriage crisis. Minjae has been recognized as one of Forbes World’s Most Influential CMOs, Campaign US CMO 50, Adweek Women Trailblazers, Business Insider’s 20 CMOs to Watch, as well as Gold House’s 100 Most Impactful Asians of the Year.

Our Staff


Anika Patel

VP / Head of Finance & Operations

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Anika heads Finance & Operations for VOW where she oversees operations including finance, fundraising, compliance, recruitment, and human resources.

Prior to VOW, Anika served as an interim CFO and advisor to venture-backed early/ mid-stage companies on various strategic initiatives including fundraising, finance, and business development and has over a decade of experience working in corporate finance and consulting, most recently at Deloitte. Anika has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and an MBA in Finance from Fordham University.

Outside of work, you can find Anika attempting to try every restaurant in NYC, getting more stamps in her passport, horseback riding, and recently has rekindled her love of Legos.

When Anika was a child, she dreamed of being a fashion designer or a spy (which was a result of watching too much of the cartoon Danger Mouse).

cameron child photo
cameron child photo

Cameron Bartlett

Vice President, Digital Fundraising & Marketing

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Cameron leads the digital fundraising and marketing team at VOW, where he finds creative ways for us to connect with donors and grow our cause.

Cameron has led award-winning digital marketing campaigns for social good. Over the past decade, he’s helped to grow causes like IJM, Compassion, Cure, New Story and more. He loves sharing the secrets of digital fundraising and creativity at conferences, on podcasts and was a digital marketing instructor at UNC Chapel Hill.

He enjoys building community around good coffee and new ideas. And loves setting out on adventures with his wife Kaitlin + their kids, Ellie and Shia.

As a kid, Cameron knew he wanted to help people — to use the challenges he faced to support others.

Clay Dunn as a Child
Clay Dunn as a Child

Clay Dunn


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Clay is the Chief Executive Officer of VOW for Girls. Clay joined VOW as the organization’s first CEO in 2019. Under his leadership, VOW has significantly expanded its team, community of supporters, and funding partners, and has set a bold strategic plan for the next phase of the organization’s growth.

Prior to VOW, Clay spent nearly a decade at the No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America, where he was part of the founding team. During that time, revenues grew to more than $80 million annually. Before moving into more purpose-driven work, Clay was a marketing and entertainment executive, most recently at National Geographic Channels. A native of Kentucky, Clay lives in Brooklyn with his husband and spends his free time exploring all that New York City has to offer.

Despite his inability to draw, Clay dreamed of being an artist when he was a child.

Leslie Bowles Kid Photo
Leslie Bowles Kid Photo

Leslie Bowles

Vice President, Development

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Leslie provides leadership, direction and coordination for all fundraising strategies and activities that enables VOW to support girls to live the lives they love.

Prior to joining VOW Leslie served as the Senior Director at the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, a CICF Fund. In this role she was responsible for the strategy, direction and oversight of fundraising for the organization and leading equity and inclusion efforts. Leslie has over 15 years of experience in fundraising for nonprofit organizations, universities and foundations. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Marian University and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University. She lives in Indianapolis, IN with her husband, three children and Bernedoodle puppy King. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family.

When Leslie was a child she dreamed of being the next Janet Jackson.

Morgan as a child
Morgan as a child

Morgan Cormier

Community Engagement Associate

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Morgan assists with community engagement and works closely with couples and wedding professionals.

Prior to VOW, Morgan worked as a wedding and event planner in Atlanta, GA. Before entering the wedding industry, Morgan worked in events and project management in the health and wellness industry in her hometown of San Diego, CA for 6 years. Morgan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (Operations/Supply Chain) from North Carolina State University and a Master’s Degree in Project Management from the University of Southern California.

Outside of VOW, you can likely find Morgan coaching or playing volleyball, walking around the lush Atlanta parks, cooking for her friends and family, or searching for the best coffee shops in town.

As a child Morgan dreamed of being a professional basketball or volleyball player (and/or a teacher).

Tara Cruise Business Development Manager as a child - smiling with a white shirt
Tara Cruise Business Development Manager as a child - smiling with a white shirt

Tara Cruise

Business Development Manager

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Tara works to build VOW’s pipeline of corporate brand partners and initiate new business conversations in order to advance girls’ rights around the world.

Before joining the VOW team, Tara served as Director of Marketing & Engagement at the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation and Partnership Manager at Bright Pink. In her previous roles, she focused on brand collaborations and advocating for women’s health. Before pursuing her passion for philanthropy full-time, Tara worked in corporate retail at brands such as Nordstrom, DSW, and Kendra Scott. A native of Ohio, Tara lives in Chicago where she enjoys exploring new parks with her rescue puppy, attempting DIY projects in her new home, and taking in as many comedy shows as the city has to offer.

As a child, Tara dreamed of being an interior designer.

Our Ambassadors

Mwai Yeboah

Exalt Africa

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Meet Mwai Yeboah. Mwai is a Zambian-born multi-award-winning luxury destination wedding planner, speaker, and author who is known for her artistic approach to event design, her lifelong advocacy for her home continent of Africa, and her ongoing support of Zambia’s entrepreneurs. 

She is the founder of Exalt Africa—a conscious lifestyle, travel, and luxury events brand that sheds light on the destinations, experiences, services, and products that exemplify African luxury. 

When asked why she decided to support VOW: “As someone who grew up in a community that unfortunately still practices child marriage for girls, getting involved with VOW was a very clear choice for me. I want to break that harmful and antiquated chain of tradition and oppression by lending my voice to the VOW cause. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to date, to find love on my own terms, and to marry the man of my choosing at an adult age. I want every little girl around the world to have this same freedom to shape her own path.”

Mwai Yeboah, Luxury Wedding planner & VOW Ambassador

Meet our Ambassadors

Estelle Bogaert

Madame Wedding Design

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Meet #VOWAmbassador Estelle Bogaert (France). Estelle is the founder and creative director of Madame Wedding Design, a Paris-based full-service destination wedding planning and design company.
Estelle believes love is everything, and has a unique understanding of the issue of child marriage and personal connection to this cause from her mother and grandmother’s experiences of being child brides in Cameroon. Estelle brings this lived experience to her advocacy to support to end child marriage.

When asked why she decided to support VOW: “It’s time for my company to be engaged in an important cause that is linked to weddings.” – Estelle Bogaert, Luxury Wedding Planner & VOW ambassador

Meet our Ambassadors

Arun Bablani

Luxury Wedding Planner (UAE)

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Meet Arun Bablani (UAE). With over 20 years of event planning experience, based out of Dubai, UAE, Arun Bablani, owner and founder of Vivaah Weddings is internationally recognized as a luxury wedding planner. Having planned and executed a multitude of weddings, his love is for creating something spectacular and helping clients take things to the next level. He was recently featured in the DWP Power List Top 100 (Global) & Economic Times’s Wedding Top 50 A-List  of the “best of the best” in event planning. 

When asked why he decided to support VOW: “After 10 very successful years in the business, we wanted to use our voice and pockets to get behind a cause that really resonated with us as a business. After hearing the very practical and grassroots approaches VOW funds to tackle the issue, it was clear to see that this was the perfect cause for us. To be part of an organization that is making real changes for young girls across the globe including by helping to keep girls in school, provide skills & job training and opportunities for young women to start their own businesses is what I am really proud to be a part of.” 

– Arun Bablani, Luxury Wedding Planner and VOW Ambassador 


Meet our Ambassadors

Verena Krenn

Wedding Planner (Austria)

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Meet #VOWAmbassador Verena Krenn (Austria). Verena is the founder of Verena Krenn Events, an Austria-based leading wedding planning company specializing in sustainable luxury events. Verena actively shares VOW’s mission and engages other wedding professionals and couples to support VOW. In addition she also uses her German language skills to translate and provide more locally relevant materials on VOW’s behalf.

When asked why she decided to support VOW: “When I first heard about Vow for Girls, I actually knew right away that I wanted to support this organization. I was lucky enough to be born into a society where we are allowed to make free choices. However, I know that unfortunately there are still too many regions, countries and cultures in the world where this is far from being the case – especially when it comes to women and their rights, their freedom. While a couple have to make numerous decisions when planning their wedding, the biggest one is still to say – I DO. To take that decision from a person, and to do so in relation to a decision that affects their entire life, robs them of their free will. Child marriage is still widespread and I am grateful and happy to have found an organization that is taking action against it.”

Meet our Ambassadors

Sarah Haywood

Sarah Haywood Weddings

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(VOW Ambassador 2021-2023)

Meet Sarah Haywood. As VOW’s first Global Ambassador, Sarah has used her voice and influence in the industry to share VOW’s mission on a global scale.

Sarah is a leading international luxury wedding planner, bridal author and speaker. Based in London she and her team have been recognized by numerous publications including being named Vogue’s No. 1 International Wedding Planner. She was CNN’s bridal expert for the Royal Wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales and in her role as an influencer has been a consultant for the award-winning HBO TV drama ‘Succession’.

When asked why she decided to support VOW: “I have built a career celebrating marriage with couples who have a choice. But that choice is not extended to 12 million girls across the world who are married before they are 18. Given the scale of this problem, it is critical that the work of VOW for Girls is highlighted to a wider global audience. I urge other wedding professionals to join me by aligning their businesses with VOW and sharing the work of VOW with their network and clients so that together we can end child marriage.”

– Sarah Haywood, Luxury Wedding Planner & VOW Global Ambassador

Meet our Ambassadors

Our Advisory Council

Emily Campbell

Go Bella Design & Planning

Esther Lee

The Knot

Fanta Toure-Puri

Girls First Fund

Jenifer Willig


José Rolón

José Rolón Events

Justin Warshaw

Justin Alexander

Kristín Ólafsdóttir


Leonie Maruani

Vauban Infrastructure Partners

Leontyne Green Sykes


Lisa Gooder

Former Editor of BRIDES

Lotte Groosman

With Lotte

Maya Jain

Tyrian Purple

Michelle Wisson

Girls Not Brides

Neela Montgomery

Consumer Retail Leader

Rebecca Yale

Rebecca Yale Photography

Sabrina Hersi Issa

Be Bold Media

Tanya Pushkine

The Vow Whisperer


Why the Wedding Industry?

Every year, millions of couples celebrate their love by getting married and millions of their family and friends celebrate with them. VOW thinks: what if we could share this love to do something bigger? The U.S. alone spends billions on weddings each year. 66% of Gen Z & Millennial women are likely to pay more for a gift if it helps support ending child marriage. VOW is engaging this tremendous industry to help end child marriage and be the charity of choice for the wedding industry globally.

Why does VOW partner with the Girls First Fund?

The Girls First Fund has grantmaking expertise but is not designed to mobilize or accept donations from the public. VOW and the Girls First Fund complement and build on each other’s expertise.

Is VOW a 501c3?

Yes, VOW for Girls is a registered 501c3 in the United States. EIN: 83-1964328.

VOW for Girls is a vow for the future.

Get the latest updates on VOW’s impact and how you can help make sure every girl has the chance to live a life she loves.