+
True
Gates Foundation

When she was 15, Jobeda Begum came home from school to find out she was getting married. The very next day.

She had no say in the matter. What a moment for a 15-year-old.


All images courtesy of CARE.

"I wanted to study to 12th grade," she said in a new report from CARE. "I wanted to be a teacher. That was back then. It's gone now. It's a dream long gone."

Sadly, Jobeda's story — getting married, dropping out of school, and getting pregnant, all at a very young age — isn't unique.

It's a reality that CARE is committed to changing. In their new report, "Vows of Poverty," the organization is taking a closer look at the 26 countries where girls are more likely to walk down the aisle than attend and complete secondary school. The three countries that come in last? Central African Republic, Chad, and Niger. You can read the full country list here.

Every day, 39,000 young girls — just like Jobeda — suddenly find themselves married.

Some are as young as 8 years old. Can you imagine?

Though child marriage rates are down globally, it's still happening ... a lot.

Early marriages are motivated by economic insecurity, religious and cultural customs, human trafficking, inadequate laws, and more. But regardless of the reasons, it almost always cuts a girl's education short and keeps her from living to her full potential.

That's why the work from CARE, Girls Not Brides, and the Let Girls Learn initiative from first lady Michelle Obama is so important to reducing the practice and allowing girls to choose their own paths in life.

It's not just about the quality of their lives. It's about the quality of our world.

A young woman's income-generating potential increases by 20% for every school year she completes beyond fourth grade. When countries put early marriage before a girl's education, it's a sure way to stay in poverty.

It also keeps our world from being its very strongest.

"When girls cannot go to school and grow up not knowing how to read or write, that denies the world future women engineers, future women doctors, future women business owners, future women presidents," said President Obama. "That sets us all back."

Thankfully, we're in a better position than ever to help change the course of history for millions of girls — and our world. And there's reason to believe it's already happening.

13-year-old Nishi Moni is one of several girls in Bangladesh who may well avoid forced early marriage.

She's been working with a local woman's empowerment group called EKATA on the harmful effects of early marriage. Together, they've been discussing with her parents and urging them not to force their young daughters into the practice.

This is how minds are changed — one at a time.

But we can do more, and we must. Today there are 700 million women who were forced to marry as girls. If nothing more is done, another 500 million will join them by 2050.

Not if we can help it.

It takes just a few seconds to show you're paying attention to millions of girls just like Jobeda and Nishi. Want to support an end to child marriage around the world? Add your name here.

Here's to a smarter, richer, more powerful world where all girls get the chance to shine. We'll all be so much better off for it. <3

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

Honorees, speakers and guests on stage at We the Peoples

True

Some people say that while change is inevitable, progress is a choice. In other words, it’s a purposeful act—like when American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation 25 years ago.

Keep ReadingShow less

Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train" actually saved 21 missing children.

Anyone who was a teen in the '90s will remember the grunge era. Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were topping the charts with their gravely metaphorical lyrics, but they weren't alone. Soul Asylum burst onto the scene with their solemn anthem "Runaway Train" complete with a video that showcased missing kids.

The video gave missing and exploited children a much bigger platform to be recognized on, because before the video was showcased on MTV, milk cartons were the common method to distribute these photos. In theory, milk cartons seem like a pretty effective way to highlight missing children, but in reality, eventually people would become blind to the photos.

The music video for "Runaway Train" was played all around the world and to the target audience that would most likely recognize the faces. It should come as no surprise, then, that the video helped to bring home 21 missing children. What is surprising, is that the band had to push to keep the pictures of the missing kids in the music video because people didn't think it was working.

Keep ReadingShow less
True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Florida city commissioner is being called a hero for confronting mayor who cut off power to residents

"You're calling me disrespectful because I've interrupted people, but this gentleman has turned off people's lights in the middle of a global health pandemic."

City commission meeting in Lake Worth Beach, Florida

This article originally appeared on 03.23.20


Palm Beach Post/YouTubeThey say a crisis brings out the best and the worst in people. It also reveals the best and the worst in our leaders.

A city commission meeting in Lake Worth Beach, Florida has gone viral after Commissioner Omari Hardy took his fellow city officials to task for their seeming indifference to their constituents during the coronavirus crisis.

Hardy confronted Mayor Pam Triolo and City Manager Michael Bornstein, who he said refused to call an emergency meeting last week, per Hardy's repeated requests, to discuss issues coming about from the coronavirus crisis. And he let his frustrations show.

"You're calling me disrespectful because I've interrupted people, but this gentleman has turned off people's lights in the middle of a global health pandemic," Hardy said, referring to Bornstein.

Keep ReadingShow less

Chris Hemsworth and daughter.

This article originally appeared on 08.27.18


In addition to being the star of Marvel franchise "Thor," actor Chris Hemsworth is also a father-of-three? And it turns out, he's pretty much the coolest dad ever.

In a clip from a 2015 interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Hemsworth shared an interesting conversation he had with his 4-year-old daughter India.

Keep ReadingShow less
Community

A newly single mom gets inspiring life advice from an internet 'Bubbie' who's been there

'Take care of yourself first. When you take care of yourself, you can take care of your kid.'

Photo by arty on Unsplash

A newly single mom gets inspiring life advice from an internet grandma.

Becoming a single mom isn't easy, especially if it's unexpected and you feel wholly unprepared. Recently, a newly single mom posted a tearful plea on TikTok asking for advice on how to navigate her new life. But she wasn't without advice long, "TikTok Bubbie" stitched the video and responded explaining how she survived as an unexpectedly single mom in 1989.

The video was sweet and full of inspiration for single parents starting their journey. In the beginning of the video she explained that her ex-husband left her when her son was 4 years old and took all the money out of the bank account. Being suddenly single caused her to have to give up her acting career.

The internet Bubbie went on to tell the young mom, "I got furniture from the Salvation Army. That's right, I got secondhand furniture. Secondhand clothes for me, my son never. He always was first in my book and still is to this day." TikTok Bubbie wasn't done, she made a second video to expand on her advice.

Keep ReadingShow less