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Girl escapes abduction for marriage in Africa and returns to class

POSTED January 28, 2019

Girl escapes abduction for marriage in Africa and returns to class

Find out how a CCFC project is saving girls from early, forced marriages

By Patrice Zongo, communications manager, Burkina Faso

Girl from Burkina Faso

In the Eastern region of Burkina Faso, 67.3 percent of girls are likely to face a forced marriage before their 18th birthday, according to State statistics.

Children who walk far to school every day are most at risk of being snatched and held against their will.

Lompoua (not her real name), a 12-year-old girl in Grade 5, understands all too well. She miraculously escaped an abduction for an early, forced marriage.

Victims of this practice are often kidnapped, hidden and locked away like prisoners; many are raped until they conceive. After they have one or two children, the kidnapper — who often goes into hiding — reveals himself to the girl’s parents who would rather approve the union than further risk their daughter’s reputation.

Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), with financial support from UNICEF and help from local partners, is working to free several girls in the Eastern region of Burkina Faso from this violence.

Fortunately, Lompoua’s teacher was informed of her kidnapping plot and discretely alerted CCFC who partnered with the local child-protection agency to resolve the issue.

The suspected kidnapper and his parents apologized, promising to leave the student to continue her education.

Lompoua was the tenth girl rescued by our team since June.

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ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE (formerly Christian Children's Fund of Canada):

Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

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