Food for Life campaign begins – Performing artist Ilta supports campaign

An adult man holds a girl, staged wedding picture

Together, we can prevent child marriage in Bangladesh and give girls a chance for a normal childhood, play, and school. The annual Food for Life campaign starts on 22 August. On the next day, the music video for Dreams will also be released together with Ilta.

So that the play does not become a reality – prevent child marriage in Bangladesh – is the message of Fida’s Food for Life campaign this year and is echoed in the soon-to-be-released music video by artist Ilta. The topic is serious. In the post-pandemic world, girls’ rights are under threat more than ever. Child marriages are on the rise globally. For example, Bangladesh, a country the size of Lapland, has about 38 million child brides. Of them, 13 million were married under the age of 15. In total, 59% of Bangladeshi girls are married before the age of eighteen, the youngest already at the age of 11. This happens even though marrying a minor is illegal in the country. Marriage too early squashes girls’ dreams.

The reasons for child marriage are many. Some parents, due to extreme poverty, find themselves in a predicament where they see no other option. With the pandemic, the situation became worse: the country currently has the highest number of child marriages in 25 years. While parents know that it is illegal, community pressure, financial burdens, and ignorance of the harm it causes can be overwhelming.

Child marriage is a flagrant violation of a girl’s rights: It interrupts girls’ schooling and limits their ability to decide on their future. The mental and physical consequences are serious. For example, complications caused by too early pregnancy and childbirth are a major cause of deaths among girls aged 15 to 19 in Bangladesh.

Fida works in 18 communities in Bangladesh together with local organisations. The work reaches the entire community. Various workshops on children’s rights and the dangers of child marriage spread vital information. Parents are encouraged to keep girls in school. In this way, community residents get tools to build a better future with. The work has already paid off, but there is still much to be done.

Doing good together with Finns

The Food for Life campaign highlights stories of Bangladeshi girls and their mothers and challenges Finns to participate. Do we want to stand by these girls?

Many churches organize collections, concerts, and other events. Many churches will also give their Sunday service offerings to the Food for Life campaign during the autumn. Thank you in advance!

I see millions of dreams around me

Why do some come true, but others collapse

The music video Dreams, which will be released on August 23 at 4 pm, has been made together with the artist Ilta. The music video will be posted on social media channels, and partner companies will donate to the campaign according to viewers’ activity. It’s worth listening in! Many stories of girls and mothers will be published on social media and Fida’s website using pictures, texts, and videos. Each of them is touching. Are we ready to hear the stories and act?

The song made by Ilta is about exactly what this is all about: Some are deprived of their dreams. Fortunately, we can do something about it together!