Keeping Girls in School, Stopping Child Marriages

It’s like an alarm bell.

When Sanjida hears about a girl who is getting married, she jumps into action. She alerts her friends and together they approach the girl’s home, demanding to speak the girl’s parents.

Only 10, Sanjida is already credited with stopping one child marriage and educating dozens of other families in her community about the dangers of child marriage.

In Bangladesh, where one in three girls are married before the age of 15, Sanjida is taking on traditional practices and calling for just one thing: Keep Girls In School.


Sanjida lives in a village in northern Bangladesh where poverty is rampant, violence too common and gender discrimination an everyday sight.

The youngest of four girls, Sanjida joined a World Vision children’s club and learned about ways to address inequality, discrimination and violence.

Her tool? Her voice.

During various school and community activities, Sanjida talks to large crowds about the importance of keeping girls in school, about child rights and why its important girls don’t get married before the age of 18.


This Grade 6 student has recently become the leader of her children’s club.

For a long time, she’s watched as girls just a little older than her are married to much older men. She’s seen the girls pulled from school and start bearing their own children while still teenagers.

To address this, Sanjida and the other child club members started to intervene when they learned about child marriages.

The group travels to a girl’s house and counsels the parents to keep their children in school and end the vicious circle of misconception and rituals that harms a girl’s growth.

Sanjida also educates families on the importance of keeping children healthy by having good hygiene, sanitation and clean drinking water.


To ensure all children in her village have the right to education, Sanjida and her child club members regularly visit children who are out of school.

They find out the reasons the child is not in school by talking with the child and their parents. 

“When I sit in that circle, I feel like I was hearing from my family,” Sanjida says. “This activity fosters discussion about the needs of children and how parents can meet those needs.”

Her group has already provided 10 children with school materials so that children can return to school, after they had previously dropped out.


Sanjida is hoping to move to beyond her village and expand her groups activities to other nearby areas.

She wants to develop child leadership, build a regional child network, partner with child support organizations and offices, as well as offer economic opportunities for children.

Sanjida and other child club leaders across Bangladesh are now ushering in a hope of a better and healthy future. There are about 41,000 children in 639 World Vision children clubs across Bangladesh who are also acting to keep more children in school and less girls from getting married at a young age in their communities.

Sanjida credits World Vision with the remarkable change she sees in her community.

She often hears, “We have found out something that we were not aware of.”
And most importantly, her fellow villagers tell her, “This is something we will carry forward and share with our children and grandchildren.”