Meet Arezo and Alaia
Arezo, a 13-year-old school girl is devastated, she is at risk of being one of those 12 million girls forced to marriage yearly. She knows, that not only her childhood, but also her education will come to an end, as she is forced to marry a 50-year-old man as his third wife.
Arezo has never been able to understand why girls are not valued, why she is not able to pursue her dream. Her parents are sad, but they are too poor to be able to continue her education. Also, the pressure from the community is getting bigger, neighbors are asking, when will Arezo be married.
Arezo has so many question burning in her mind, but no one to ask, girl should not question or ask too much. It is best to be silent and to obey.
Alaia is a 15-year-old girl, an immigrant living in Finland. She has been quite happy, even she has been wondering why she is not able to have the same freedom as her Finnish friends. She has been wondering many things that are different in her family and community. Alaia and her sister’s life is very restricted while her brothers may go as they please. But, she is not to question or speak out loud her thoughts. Lately she has been nervous, her family is planning a trip to their origin home country. This trip seems to be special, and Alaia might not return back home. Her family is happy, but Alaia is afraid. It seems there is not a soul to turn for help.
Alaia’s school teacher, Maria, has noticed that Alaia has been different for some time, she is nervous and quiet. Maria feels that something is not right, but she has been unable to get Alaia to open up. Maria is sad, because she doesn’t know what to do.
But, there is a solution to this. And we are working on it.
We encourage education. We encourage gender equality. We encourage empowerment.
Arezo and Alaia are fictional, yet thir story is based on the actual real-life situation of tens of millions of girls. Our solution is aimed for helping those girls and women in need. (Photo credits: Ambar Simpang, Mentatdgt, Aldo Picaso).