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We aim to help young girls in India avoid child marriage and finish school, empowering them to make their own choices for the future.

Education is just the first step towards a world where girls and boys are valued equally.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

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  • Eradicate Child Marriages
  • Empower Women
  • Gender Equality

Child Marriages in India

Child marriage was banned in India in 1891 and the legal age for marriage is 18, but this law is poorly enforced.

Estimates suggest that each year at least 1.5 million girls under 18 get married in India, which makes it home to the largest number of child brides in the world - accounting for a third of the global total. Nearly 16% of adolescent girls aged 15-19 are currently married.

Child marriage ends childhood

This is an issue of gender inequality. It happens more often to young girls because they are seen as less valuable than their brothers.

When a girl gets married, her parents are no longer responsible for providing for her, and younger brides can usually marry with a smaller dowry; a child bride is often treated less as a member of the family than an unpaid maidservant.

Social custom and traditions also play a part in early marriage, and some girls are betrothed at birth or even earlier in order to secure their future.

Great cultural importance is attached to virginity at the time of marriage, and some parents may decide to marry their daughter to guard against pre-marital sex.

Uncontrolled and unchecked

Despite numerous initiatives to end child marriage in India, the practice remains widespread. We believe change is possible at grassroots level, by investing in the girls’ education and helping families give their daughters a better chance in life.

Gender Inequality

The underlying challenge of gender inequality has repercussions beyond child marriage.

And education is simply considered less important for girls, as it is assumed that they will become housewives.

Gender inequality is rooted in traditional attitudes and social norms, and these take time to change.

Change can happen within a generation

As girls from disadvantaged families take their place at school and go on to become independent women, they will gain the respect of their families and the wider community.

Their contribution - to their own households and to society - will be recognised and valued. And their own children will grow up in a world where women face less discrimination.

What We Do

To end child marriage and build a society where women have equal opportunities, we make sure the most vulnerable girls get the support they need.

Keeping girls in school

For some, early marriage may seem like the only option. With financial support, we can change that.

We will ensure that all the costs of education are covered – not only school fees but also books, other learning materials, and clothing and in most cases boarding or other accommodation

Education is provided by qualified institutions.

Sustainable support

Once a girl is chosen for this program, we are committed to support her financially until she completes her secondary school. This is a guarantee we make to the girls, to their families, and to our sponsors.

Every six months we meet with the girls themselves, their families, and their teachers, to see how they are making progress and help with any challenges that may arise.

We periodically counsel the parents and discourage them from the thought of getting their child married.

Empowering young women

For every year of education for a girl in this project, some money will be put into a savings account in her name. Her family will not be able to access it, and it is set aside for her when she graduates. This guarantees that her future – and the decision when to marry - are her own.

Where We Work

Andhra Pradesh lies in the south-east of India, and is the tenth most populous state in the country. Around 70% of the population lives in rural areas.

The Montessori Elite School, near Anantapur, has agreed to act as our educational partner to provide education, clothing and boarding to our students.

Who Benefits?

The girls benefit from the advantages of an education and some money of their own when they graduate, enabling them to make their own choices.

Their families benefit from having a daughter who is educated, independent, an example to her siblings, and better able to offer support to them later in life.

The next generation benefits from an educated mother. When an educated, independent woman starts her own family, she is in a better position to raise her own children.

These girls are the future of India

Most of all, society benefits. A generation of educated young women ready to play an active role in society and realise their potential can change a community.

Get Involved

Together we can end child marriage and create a Abrighter future for girls and young women. Join us today and help young women make their own choices.

How You Can Support Us

Your support matters

Donate: With an ongoing annual donation you can help us raise funds required to provide young girls with continuous and uninterrupted education.

Volunteer: You can choose to work with us by donating your time. Please get in touch, and we can discuss how your skills can best contribute to the project.

Partner: Partner with us to scale up this project in your region. Please get in touch for opportunities to work with us.

anhourago Projects is a registered charity located in Switzerland

anhourago Projects