Giving Compass’ Take:
• Adele Peters reports that a game is teaching girls how to avoid child marriages which are dangerous and damaging to individuals and society.
• How can funders help to improve and expand proven methods of preventing child marriage? How does this game work (or not work) across cultures?
• Learn about five girls whose lives were changed by child marriage.
At the age of 19, Nashra Balagamwala made the choice to defy her family: Instead of entering into an arranged marriage in Pakistan, she would go to college in the United States. Five years later, with her student visa set to expire, she’s headed home and trying to avoid the still looming marriage by designing a board game.
In the game, “Arranged!,” which is funding on Kickstarter, players take the part of a girl trying to creatively avoid a matchmaker and to marry for love instead. Balagamwala hopes to raise enough money through the game that if she’s soon being forced to get married by her family, she can fly out of Pakistan; making a product also makes her eligible for a particular type of U.S. visa. (The O-1 visa for workers with “extraordinary abilities,” which includes a subcategory for artists, could be easier for some people to get than the HB-1 visa, which uses a lottery system; of course, it could still be hard to get in the current political climate, particularly for a Pakistani Muslim, and a Kickstarter project may not be enough). She’s also hoping that the game can help other young Pakistani women realize they have more options.
Among her friends who tested the game in Pakistan, she says that it’s inspired them to take more active roles in their futures.
“It’s even giving these women ideas to actually avoid [arranged marriage],” she says.
Read the full article about avoiding child marriages by Adele Peters at Fast Company.
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