I am proud to report that our dear friends at Brides Do Good – and each stylish bride-to-be who purchased their wedding dress from the Bicester Village pop-up in the UK over the last two months – have raised $25,000 for my nonprofit organization, Too Young to Wed (TYTW), to invest in the future of former child brides. We are thrilled to receive such a generous donation from our partners at Brides Do Good, a pioneering social enterprise that sells the world’s most beautiful pre-loved and sample designer wedding gowns.
Since the inception of our partnership, we believed Brides Do Good, led by the amazing Chantal Khoueiry, was embarking on a brilliant idea – turning a magical day for an adult bride into a future that holds many magical days for former child brides. Together we will provide life changing scholarships for these courageous survivors.
Too Young to Wed’s Leadership Scholarships go far beyond academic excellence to offer students the opportunities needed to have a real voice and create effective communication between the student and the local communities. TYTW aims to have these young leaders’ voices heard and respected and to ensure real change where child marriage is prevalent.
In Nigeria, 43 percent of girls are married before they reach 18 years old and 17 percent are married before they turn 15 years old. Many girls have even been forced into marriages with Boko Haram fighters and used as recruiting incentive for fighters during the country’s lengthy insurgency. In Samburu County, Kenya, one of the most severe forms of child marriage affects girls as young as seven years old. These girls are often married to much older men.
The vision of TYTW’s Tehani Photo Workshops is to create a new generation of young women leaders, who will positively transform their local communities. Our goal is to provide safe, healing spaces and cultivate the physical, psychological, and social and spiritual well-being of our students. With this partnership, we will now be able to offer scholarships to all of our workshop participants.
“I am thrilled to have realised our goal through this pop-up, which was to raise enough funds to provide educational scholarships for 100 young girls. Ensuring access to a safe and quality education is key to keeping young girls out of child marriage, by taking decisive action now we can make a real difference, empowering them to make their own choices and providing them with the tools to live a more independent life so they in turn can influence their communities and future generations. Thank you to all our wonderful brides who visited the boutique at Bicester Village and found their dream dress at Brides do Good, together, we have been able to give these girls the chance of a future they deserve,” said Chantal Khoueiry, founder of Brides do Good.