World Concern

By Joanne Lu

Salma (far right) presents to her preschool class

Salma (far right) presents to her preschool class (2018). Photo provided by World Concern.

Salma is a preschool teacher in rural Bangladesh. She’s a high-school graduate and plans to continue her education in college. In a country where an estimated 45 percent of girls drop out of secondary school, Salma is a big deal.

But just four years ago, at 14 years of age, Salma was among millions of girls who live in absolute fear of being forced into marriage, likely to an older man. As a girl from a poor family in Bangladesh, which has the fourth highest rate of child marriage in the world, according to UNICEF, and the second highest number of child brides – nearly 4.5 million in 2017 – Salma was staring down the barrel of child marriage. Read More