"Hey! My name is Thea and I'm 12 years old. I am getting married in one month! So, welcome to my blog. This will also be my wedding blog from now on <3 ".
This is how Thea has introduced her upcoming journey and major life event of being a child bride in Norway. Using this blog she told her story and expressed how she believed her experience of marriage would be.
- We want to show how horrible the practice of child marriage is and put it in a context that is familiar and normally associated with love, happiness and hope for the future. Many girls dream about their wedding day and this day is often referred to as one of the happiest days of their lives. But for 39, 000 young girls who get married every day, their wedding day is the worst day of their life. Norway and the rest of the world has to wake up and help us stop child marriages in order to prevent what these girls are going trough, says Olaf Thommessen, National Director of Plan Norway.
Thea's wedding blog has become Norway’s most read blog during the course of one day. It instantly provoked reactions where people immediately contacted the police and child welfare in order to stop the upcoming wedding. Thousands of people debated the subject on social media as well.
Plan Norway have also see a big interest in the blogs telling the stories of real child brides in Tanzania and Bangladesh. These are heart breaking stories about girls who are ripped out of school and into wedlock.
The wedding was planned to be held on the UN's International Day of the Girl Child. Read what happened when Norway stopped the wedding.
- The response to the campaign #stoppbryllupet has been immense. We as Plan Norway are both impressed and grateful of the response people all over the world has shown. People, who normally don’t engage in development issues, are now campaigning to stop child marriage. I believe this massive response is due to the fact that we chose to bring the issue of child marriage home to a Norwegian context. We have seen that this has been effective method to get people engaged in the issue, says Olaf Thommessen, National Director of Plan Norway.
- We believe that provocation is a powerful tool in order to demonstrate a reality that truly is very provoking. We hope people will mobilize against child marriage by being girl sponsors, so that most of the 39,000 girls facing Thea's situation every day can escape their brutal faith