Last month, a video and blog post have gone viral. The post was a bout a 12-year-old Norwegian girl, Thea to marry 37-year-old, Geir. There was even this dramatic video campaign.
Thea’s ‘story’ has shocked many, but it is not real. It is actually part of a campaign by children’s development charity Plan International aimed at highlighting the 39,000 children every day who are forced into marriage. The charity says:
We believe that provocation is a powerful tool in order to demonstrate a reality that truly is very provoking. We hope people will mobilise against child marriage by being girl sponsors, so that most of the girls facing Thea’s situation every day can escape their brutal fate.
How about Thea in the campaign? Her real name is Maja, She is 12 years old and come from Norway. She tells the rest of the stoy this way:
When I was first asked to play the role of Thea I thought right away that this was something I wanted to do because it is such a good cause. Me and my mom (as you see in the picture) still carefully thought over it, until we together decided to be part of this. It has been incredibly strange and exciting to see how so many have read and followed the Thea’s wedding blog in recent weeks, and I am pleased that the vast majority have been so positive about the campaign. I think it’s nice to think that I’m through playing the role of Thea may have helped girls my age around the world. Girls who are in danger of being married off in completely for real! Also, I think of course it’s fun to be a part of something so big and Thea’s blog has received so much attention worldwide.
I hope everyone has now been joined by the Thea fortunately never been real! At the same time, I hope everyone who has followed the wedding blog and the history of Thea have discovered that this is something that happens to many thousands of girls are married off every day around the world. I hope that as many people as possible doing what they can to stop these barnebryllupene, either by becoming a sponsor or help in other ways. Even though I now know more than many others about how it feels should be married off at age 12, I can not imagine how terrible it must be to be exposed to in reality.
Thanks to all who helped to stop my wedding. Now we must all help stop the real barnebryllupene in the world!
— Saif Rahman (@SaifRRahman) October 10, 2014