INA Improving Maternal and Child Health Program in Nepal
Maiya, is a 13 year old girl who has already demonstrated the value of the program. She has joined her school health club. The club provides young people with the opportunity to learn about critical issues such as reproductive health, teenage pregnancy and early marriage, to discuss issues that are important to them, and to work together to bring about change.
Maiya’s new understanding led her to make a cry for help for a friend.
She explained; “Chameli was 5 years old when her mother died and her father re-married. Now she is only 11 years old and she has been forced into marriage with a much older man. She has been sent away from her father’s house to live with her new husband and his family, five hours away from her own. We have not seen her and have not heard from her since then.
How can this be allowed? This is against the law and yet still we see this happening all the time in our villages. What can we do about this?”
Maiya’s cry for help for her friend has prompted immediate action.
With the support of INA’s local development partner, Chameli’s situation is now being investigated and acted upon by a Female Community Health Volunteer and the village development committee.
Maiya’s story highlights the great importance of empowering young people to bring about change for the protection of child rights and reduction of maternal mortality.