My name is Louise, I am 30 years old today. When I was only 15 I dreamed of becoming a great dressmaker but my father had other thoughts and just wanted me to marry a man of his choice. One day, on my way to the market, I was kidnapped on his behalf and taken to the home of a man who got me pregnant after two months.
My whole life has been upset because I was not ready to have children and my eyes were clouded with tears every day. The life of a woman, let alone that of a girl, is delicate and sensitive. If parents feel love for their little girls, they should stop sacrificing them to satisfy their selfish and futile desires to marry them against their own will. Getting married at an early age means being destroyed in one’s humanity and torn in the soul.
My name is Anne-Marie, I am 15 years old, I have 3 sisters, 7 brothers and my dream is to finish my studies and work in a sewing workshop. Unfortunately, my mother wants me to marry one of her relatives and that is the reason why I ran away from home. Today I have returned to live with my family but I am very afraid because my mother might change her mind.
Given my experience I would like to tell girls to fight for their rights and rise up against their parents when they force them into an early marriage and to seek help to avoid this nightmare. And I would like to tell parents to let their girls learn a trade, grow up and then one day introduce a man who asks their parents for their hand.
I’ve never been to school and I’d like to learn a trade even if my parents don’t have the means to enroll me in an apprenticeship. Meanwhile, I enjoy working the land with my husband. I liked my husband right away and, although my family objected, I wanted to marry him. This is why I think it is important that parents do not force their daughters into a marriage but allow the girls themselves to choose their spouse.
WeWorld in Benin
Established in Benin since 2008, we opened our headquarters in Cotonou in 2010 and are currently developing three projects in different departments in the centre/south of the country (Zou, Collines, Ouémé, Plateau) involving 15 municipalities, 25 villages and 25 schools. In 2020, the number of direct beneficiaries of WeWorld actions amounted to 28,816 for 493,134 indirect beneficiaries.
We have two main modes of operation:
- Technical and financial support to partners
- Direct management of the project
Currently, our partners in Benin are: the NGO FADeC (Femmes Actrices de Développement Communautaire).
With a mandate and experience in education, the development of civil society organisations is one of the strategies put in place to improve student achievement, to strengthen their school participation and increase their access, retention and success rates. Indeed, our school model is a school where children can have fun, be successful and learn.
AREAS OF INTERVENTION: SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS (SRHR)
- Support to Youth Associations through the mapping of initiatives, the training, the implementation of cascade funding, the creation of platforms for the discussion and networking with the Health centres.
- Training of peer educators on SRHR and access to services.
- Training of women’s groups, “men’s club models”, local radio journalists, social and health promotion centres of the DDSR.
- Organisation of round tables with the traditional and religious leaders.
- Training of teachers of middle and elementary schools (CM1 and CM2) and of managers of collectives and craft workshops for the implementation of didactic interviews.
- Dissemination of the legal texts to the municipal institutional actors and to the civil society.
- Strengthening of the capacities of CSOs, youth associations, women’s groups to carry out advocacy actions towards the local authorities.
- Creation of a common framework for the consultation between the Municipality and the CSOs.