Our Story. Our Mission.
We, the Casey Foundation Africa, are a nonprofit striving to prevent child marriages and adolescent pregnancies in Africa. We were founded in 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic stalled our mission. Now in 2023, we are primed to protect girls and their futures.
We recently launched a Public Awareness Campaign in Uganda, educating communities about the consequences of child marriages. We created advocacy messages highlighting how child marriages negatively impact girls, families, and communities. And we seek and sincerely appreciate your support for this campaign, our programs, and our organization.
What is happening in Uganda?
In Uganda, where poverty is acute, many girls and families believe that child marriage is a solution for financial security. Many parents struggle to cover school fees and other basic needs such as food and sanitary pads. Many feel that giving a daughter in marriage will reduce family expenses or even temporarily increase their income in cases where a bride's parents are paid a bride price.
We want to change the cycle of child marriage and adolescent pregnancies.
In Uganda, 8.9 million girls aged 10-19 are at risk of harmful practices, including child marriage, especially those living in rural areas and less educated and low-income households. According to Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, thirty-four percent of women aged 25-49 were married before 18.
Moreover, child marriage increases the risk of adolescent pregnancy, which can profoundly affect the health and lives of young women. With little access to education and economic opportunities, they and their families are more likely to live in poverty. Isolated and with limited freedom, married girls often feel disempowered. They are deprived of their fundamental rights to health, education, healthy relationships, and the freedom to choose whom and when to marry, when to get pregnant, and how many children to have.
Child brides are neither physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and mothers. They face more risks of experiencing dangerous complications in pregnancy and childbirth, contracting HIV/AIDS, and suffering domestic violence.
When a girl gets pregnant or gets married, her chances of going back to school are very low, keeping girls poor by depriving them of opportunities, education, and access to paid employment.
Our Public Awareness Campaign.
We recruited over 60 volunteers in Uganda to promote and deliver the campaign to the Busoga sub-region in Eastern Uganda, where the prevalence of child marriages is highest. But we lack the funds to mobilize the volunteers and connect them with the girls, families, and communities that offer the greatest opportunity to stop the practice of child marriages.
We want to release advocacy information that empowers girls, families, and the community not to consider child marriage as a solution to their economic hardships. And we want to initiate and hold meetings with families, communities, schools, and districts on how to empower, protect and keep girls in schools.
We sincerely appreciate your support for this campaign, our programs, and our organization.
Thank you, Casey Foundation Africa Co-Founders:
Maimoona Sheila Salim
Dr. Maimoona Sheila Salim is a social entrepreneur, mentor, and philanthropist. She is involved in the development space focused on community development, youth, and women empowerment. She founded Bridge the Gap program instituted to upskill and empower the youths. Her notable expertise is building relationships and socio-economic partnerships between South Africa and Nigeria. She has served as Vice-Chair for women in business at the Durban Chamber of Commerce Industry in South Africa. She is currently the MD for Beyond Mentors Limited, Registrar for the Academic Council Human Rights Education Federation of the IHRC, the Global Marketing Director for the African Woman Leadership Organisation, a board trustee for Ethekwini Community Development Trust South Africa, a board trustee for Advanced Digital Opportunities Foundation Nigeria, a board member for Wells International Foundation USA, Beyond Mentors Community Care Initiative Nigeria and Peace Players South Africa.