SI Club of Gouda, Netherlands
SI Club Gouda is working jointly with Oxfam Novib on a major project entitled: “Marriage is not child’s play”. It focuses on a Pakistan’s village, a country in which this NGO, which is a privileged partner for the Club, has many contacts and accesses established over several years. Together, the two associations have committed themselves to prevent child marriages for the coming years (2017-2020). Child marriages deprive girls of their rights: the right to choose, the right of education, security, health and physical integrity. Most of them are forced to interrupt their schooling or studies after marriage. Without education, their personal development is impaired and their chances of escaping poverty are low. They are also vulnerable to domestic violence and sexual abuse. In addition, because of their young age, these girls are at increased risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
The Club members managed to raise over €7,000 in order to offer scholarships to the village girls, but also access to extracurricular classes or the purchase of bicycles, for example. They maintain close contact with the people working on-site and receive regular updates on the progress of the project.