Help to end child marriage with VOW for girls
As you fall down the glorious flower-filled rabbit hole of wedding planning, it's easy to forget that marriage isn't such a happy occasion for everyone. Every year, 12 million girls, some as young as eight, become child brides. That’s one girl every three seconds. Here at Wedding Sparrow we are proud to support VOW for Girls, a growing global movement working to end the international child marriage crisis.
A crisis on the rise
Child marriage is on the rise due to COVID 19. With millions of girls forced out of school and increased economic uncertainty for families, it’s estimated that an additional 10 million child marriages will occur over the next decade. Child marriage occurs across countries, cultures, and religions and even happens in the US. It is a human rights violation that deprives girls of an education and removes their ability to make many fundamental choices about their lives.
In recognition of International Day of the Girl on October 11, VOW for Girls launches its International Day of the Girl campaign, "Stop the Clock." The campaign unites brands and the wedding industry to support this important cause, as well as help raise funds for programs that provide critical resources to girls at risk of child marriage. High profile names are also helping to raise awareness, including Victoria Beckham and Helena Christensen.
Luxury wedding designer Justin Alexander, wedding industry leader The Knot, and a generous private donor are sponsors of this year's campaign. From October 4–11, every like, comment, and share of VOW's social content will unlock $1 from the sponsors to help start a new future for girls everywhere, up to $100,000.
How can you help?
As you celebrate choosing each other, you can help girls around the world to choose love on their own terms by simply including VOW for Girls in your wedding. In addition to social media support, you can purchase from the many brands that donate to VOW for Girls, through a gift registry or donate directly. Many couples choose to set up a fundraiser and request donations from guests in lieu of registry or bridal shower gifts.
Every donation counts and 100% of the funds raised by VOW for Girls are invested in underfunded but effective local efforts that advance girls' rights by providing education, job training, and vital life skills, so girls can own their futures. An estimated 260,000 girls have been directly impacted by this work to date and 1.6 million individuals have indirectly benefited. Funds raised are distributed through VOW's sister organization and granting partner, the Girls First Fund.
Elsa and Ryan raised $2550 for VOW for Girls. It was an easy decision, explains Elsa: "Ryan and I felt strongly from the beginning that in lieu of gifts, we wanted our wedding guests to put their money somewhere it would truly make a difference. When we came across VOW for Girls and the incredible work the organization does, it felt like the perfect cause for us to support."
Helena and Ignacio (above) decided to donate in honor of each guest in lieu of favors and include place cards at every setting.
Karyn and Kyle (above) raised $1,738 from a bridal shower registry in lieu of gifts. Karyn explains: "For us getting married is an incredibly spiritual experience, celebrating a bigger story of sacrificial love. But we also knew there's many who don't have the privilege of choosing that story for themselves, which is why we were delighted to replace requests for bridal shower gifts with a VOW fundraiser."
A wide range of brands support VOW for Girls, including Fine Art Curation member The Mrs Clutch as well as wedding professionals (in over 16 countries) including Amy Mulder Photography, who created the above brand shoot. The Mrs Clutch donates $10 per bag sold to VOW for Girls.