Patricia and the VOW Grantee Partner that Helps Keep Girls in School
Just before the pandemic, in a village just outside of Kampala, Uganda we first met a young girl named Patricia. At the time, she was 13 years old and had recently started to participate in a program that VOW funds. The program is led by a local organization, Raising Teenagers Uganda, and is designed to help keep girls in school by offering mentorship, paying for their school fees and supplies.
Keeping her daughter in school was important to Patricia’s mother. She was determined to prevent her daughter from entering into child marriage, like she did as a teenager.
“I was a child bride – married at 17 because I didn’t have options,” said Patricia’s mother. “I had four beautiful babies – all girls. Patricia’s father left us because he was tired of having girls. He thought they wouldn’t amount to anything. He is wrong. Patricia and her sisters are going to be something.”
Since we met Patricia, her school experienced real challenges. The pandemic meant that her school was closed for almost 2 years. During that time, Raising Teenagers Uganda supported Patricia to keep her focused on learning and encouraged her to return to school when it reopened. This was not a given – many girls in the community felt too intimidated to return to school.
We recently checked in with Patricia – she’s back in school with her friends, back on track, and back in the program that we help fund. Girls around the world, like Patricia, are succeeding in school with the help of VOW and programs like those run by local organizations like Raising Teenagers Uganda.
About VOW for Girls
VOW for Girls is a growing global movement that partners with the wedding industry, engaged couples, brands, and individuals to end the international child marriage crisis. Count to three… A child just became a bride. By raising funds and awareness, VOW is ending child marriage by building a connected groundswell of love and support for every girl whose right to own her future is at risk.
100% of the funds raised by VOW for Girls are invested in underfunded yet effective local efforts that advance girls’ rights by providing education, job training, and vital life skills, so girls can own their futures. VOW for Girls is a vow for the future.
Of the 175+ organizations supported to date, 85% are led by women. An estimated 260,000 girls have been directly impacted by this work to date and 1.6 million individuals have indirectly benefited. Follow @vowforgirls to learn more about VOW!
Photo credit: Esther Mbabazi