How are you??
I know, I know, the same story again, I been very busy and all other things…
But I am back with a very good story!
So a couple weeks ago I saw a video on facebook about a new children book.
“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” by Francesca Cavallo e Elena Favilli.
Is a very cool book for children, 100 tales of extraordinary women.
They think that:
“Our daughters deserve a new kind of fairy tale, that’s why we created “Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls”.”
This video will explain better:
So, of course, I bought the book and I also made mom bought it in Italian for my little cousin!!!
But I mean don`t get me wrong, is a great book for an adult too, there so many big names, people who made our history, is a good one for learning new things, trust me.
Is exactly for that reason that today I want to share with you another amazing story, and guess what?
Is one of the tales in the book!
But, I don`t want to waste any more time:
Her name is Balkissa Chaibou.
Balkissa born in 1995 in Niger.
She was a child with dreams very good at school and she wanted to become a doctor.
One day she discovered that her uncle had promised her in marriage to one of her cousins, she was only 12 years-old.
it’s horrible and so frightening but unfortunately, the country where Balkissa lived allows parents to arrange weddings for their daughters when they are still children.
Balkissa managed to strike a deal with her mother to give herself 5 more years of education before being forced into the marriage with her cousin. As the day drew closer, and her love for her education grew stronger, Balkissa began to fear the loss of her future:
“They said if you marry him you won’t be able to study anymore. For me, my passion is studying. That’s when I realized that my relationship with him wouldn’t work well.”
After being refused help by her father, she turned to her head teacher, Moumouni Harouna, who referred her to an NGO called the Centre for Judicial Assistance and Civic Action. Her Uncle and Father, however, denied accusations that they were forcing her into a marriage, and so the charges were dropped.
“I felt pain inside of me, it really broke my heart… Because I see that I am fighting to fulfill myself, and these people will be an obstacle to my evolution”
With no other options, and facing a death threat from her Uncle, Balkissa ran away the night before her wedding where she took refuge in a women’s shelter. After a week, the wedding party had returned back to Nigeria and Balkissa was able to safely return home. She describes the relief she felt when she put back on her school uniform:
“I felt like my life was renewed. As if it was a new beginning.”
Balkissa, now 19, travels around visiting schools and urging other girls to say “no” to forced marriages – campaigning for a fairer and just future. She has also spoken at a UN summit on reducing maternal mortality after statistics show that 34% of adolescent deaths are due to early pregnancies.
Now at Medical School, she is well on her way to becoming a Doctor. Her Mother and Father now oppose the idea of a forced marriage, and approve of Balkissa’s will to continue her education:
“We are finished with it in this family. We are scared of it… if a girl grows up she can choose her husband. We can’t do it.”
Balkissa is not the only one.
Forced marriages are an endemic of the most poverty-stricken countries, where hunger and desperation often force families to sell their daughters as wives when they are merely children. In Niger, a landlocked country in Western Africa, 36% of women are married by the age of 15, and 75% by the age of 18.
Do I have to add more?
I think her story speaks for her.
But I will conclude the post with her words:
“ I will show them what I can do with my life”
I hope you enjoyed the post…
Have a great week
See you soon
Kiss from KiKa