New member spotlight: Girls score a goal to end child marriage in India

Our new spotlight feature "Girls score a goal to end child marriage in India" tells the story of 16-year-old Raniya, who was saved from child marriage through her participation in ChildFund India's “Mind Without Fear” program.

Girls score a goal Raniya (left, in green), playing defense in her favorite game: soccer. Raniya joined the team as part of her participation in ChildFund’s Mind Without Fear project, which promotes gender equality in rural Jharkhand, India. Her friends in the program helped her stand up to her parents when they tried to arrange her marriage at age 15.

The program empowers teen girls from 50 villages to step outside that box, carve out their own identities and become role models for other girls. It does so in part by encouraging their participation on Mind Without Fear soccer teams.

With their coaches as mentors and their teammates as support, these girls travel for matches, participate in state-level competitions and win prizes, all while learning the value of teamwork, determination and courage — not ideal characteristics for child brides.

Read Girls score a goal to end child marriage in India on our Spotlight page.