The Democratic Republic of Congo ranks 9th in the world among those countries with the highest absolute number of child marriages: 1,274,000 young women, aged 20-24 years old, were married before their 18th birthday.
Ongoing armed conflict against Rwandan rebels, battling for control over the country’s mineral wealth, has had devastating consequences on all aspects of daily life for the Congolese population. Sexual violence is widespread and has increased in recent years, as has child marriage.
THE SOLUTIONS WE'RE PROPOSING
In the South Kivu region, which has been particularly affected by the war, W4’s field partner, Radio Ondese, broadcasts a radio series and holds specialized training workshops to help raise awareness among the local population about the harms of child marriage. In this remote region, local populations are seldom aware of the disastrous consequences of child marriage -- or the legal resources available to help prevent child marriage.
Radio Ondese broadcasts radio programs that discuss the specific topic of child marriage in order to spread awareness about the issue and mobilize all community stakeholders – girls, boys, families, local leaders, leaders of civil sector organizations, and members of the local authorities – in a concerted effort to end child marriage. Through a variety of formats (reports, advertisements, news alerts, debates, public discussion programs), these programs seek to provide inhabitants of the South Kivu region with useful information about the causes and consequences of child marriage, and about the resources and means available to prevent child marriage. The aim is to foster a deep, lasting change in mentalities, which will encourage the eradication of child marriage.
Radio Ondese’s participatory, inclusive radio series is pioneering in its focus on the specific subject of child marriage. Because radio is a widespread communication tool in the South Kivu region, it is a particularly effective means for raising awareness across a wide population.
THE IMPACT OF GIVING
By giving to this program, you will help finance one or more programs that aim(s) specifically to inform and educate people in South Kivu about the harms of child marriage and the means of prevention. Through testimonials, the provision of important legal and medical information, and a range of discussions with key stakeholders, these radio programs have a profound impact by fostering a change in people’s mentalities.
Your giving will help to fund radio programs -- and related listeners’ clubs, discussion groups, and workshops -- that can reach up to 300,000 people in the entire South Kivu region. Imagine the difference your giving can make!
Together, we can end child marriage!