CARE fights global poverty with an emphasis on empowering women and girls with education, and maternal health and microfinance resources!

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Casablanca star Ingrid Bergman, among other celebrities in the 1950s, was a major supporter of the CARE Package.

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Young women study computer skills at the Garowe Vocational Training Center in Somalia, supported by CARE.

The center offers programs in tailoring, electricity and auto mechanics. Girls also learn basic auto mechanics and driving, skills not traditionally available to Somali girls. The institute offers remedial reading, writing and basic English to students, most of whom come from very poor families.

"I'd like to improve my knowledge and skills, and also hope that many youth in the town will be able to emulate my education," says 16-year-old Zamzam Mohamed.

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Maria survived child marriage, violence from her uncle, abuse from her in-laws and eventually, abandonment. Read how a CARE group helped her achieve financial independence and empowerment to lift herself and her children from poverty.

When orphaned Maria was 14, her cousin killed a person and Maria was given as a child bride to the family of the murdered man as compensation.

Maria spent 18 months with her husband before he went to Iran for work. Her husband's family threatened and abused her because she was from a murderer's family. They didn't give her enough to eat while she was pregnant, and when she gave birth, since her husband was still in Iran, they expelled her from the house.

Maria returned to her uncle's house, where he beat her like he had before she was married.

When Maria's husband returned from Iran, they formed an amicable relationship, which her in-laws found unacceptable. Maria and her family fled to Iran, where they remained for ten years.

The family returned to Afghanistan, but Maria's husband had formed a drug problem and lost all of their money, leaving them without shelter or income.

Three years later, Maria's husband disappeared. She washed clothes to support her family.

Maria joined a CARE group, where she learned about women's and children's rights, and family law. She went to the Human Rights Commission, where she was granted an inheritance from her in-laws' land.

CARE recognized Maria's hard work and hired her as a Community Mobilizer. Now, her family has enough income and her children are in school.

"I found that a woman is not helpless; a woman is the key to her own development when she is aware and supported," she said.

Make a gift to CARE today to help more women like Maria escape violence & lift themselves from poverty. When you do, your gift will be matched, dollar for dollar!

Photo credits: 2010 Mazari Waziri/CARE

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A CARE Community Volunteer in Ethiopia helps 9-year-old Dhaki escape child marriage, dropping out of school and a life time of poverty.

After a suitor consistently proposed to Dhaki over a three year period and offered a substantial bride price, her father agreed to the child marriage.

But when the village's CARE trained Kebele leader, Wario Djilo, heard about the marriage, he begged her father to stop it.

Wario initiated discussions with her father and other community volunteers, and even appealed to local authorities to step in. But he still refused to change his mind, and insisted that his daughter drop out of school and become a child bride.

Finally, Wario convinced Dhaki's father that early marriage has serious health risks for the child brides. He also helped him realize that child marriage would sentence Dhaki to a lifetime of poverty.

Her father agreed not to marry her, and even signed an agreement in which he promised not to marry Dhaki before she's 18.

Thanks to the training Wario received from CARE, he's the village's best resource for ending child marriage. He considers it his personal responsibility to protect all the village's girls from becoming child brides.

Through public conferences, school awareness raising activities and school clubs, Wario educates the children and parents in his village of the dangers of child marriage, and guarantees that no other girls in the village will suffer the fate of becoming a child bride.

Donate now to help other girls and women like Dhaki escape a lifetime of poverty, and your gift will go twice as far! Here's how:

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When Begum Sheikh Hasina was 35, she was married off to a man chosen by her parents, as is often the case in rural Bangladesh. She and her husband opened a bread shop, but vandals from the local political party would often attack it. One day one of Hasina’s children was abused by these men, and when Hasina protested, four men picked her up, took her to a sandbank and gang-raped her.

Hasina closed the shop and went back home in shame—but her family found out what had happened and kicked her out of the house because of the social stigma associated with rape. Meanwhile, her husband was in Dhaka for work. He didn’t return or send money for two years.

Hasina resorted to sex work, but not out of choice. “I’d only take the work if I was really desperate for money, and my children needed food. This is the worst career you can have. In the hope of getting one customer, at least ten will rape you. It is better to beg in the streets.”

Her husband eventually returned, and Hasina became pregnant again. However, he gave little support and she struggled to raise four children by managing a tea stall.

Through serving tea to customers, Hasina came to meet staff from CARE’s Protirodh project, which supports migratory sex workers. She joined the local Priotirodh self-help group, and with the support of others in the group began to change her fortunes.

Hasina explains: “Dada from Protirodh came rescued me by giving me 1500 taka. Even if that does not seem to be sufficient, I was part of a Shomiti (union) where I saved what CARE gave me. I eventually made 5000 taka. Then I took a 7000 taka loan, fifteen days, and I built my shop. Now I make at least 100 taka profit every day selling tea, cigarettes, bananas, biscuits, and cakes.”

Hasina still faced huge challenges. Local villains vandalised her shop, tortured her son, and beat her unconscious, accusing her of running a “whore-house”.

Hasina decided enough was enough. She contactsed a local politician who intervened, working alongside the Protirodh project to improve Hasina’s situation.

Hasina said, “I have been told by many sex worker women that they are inspired by what I have done. They are proud that after such hardship and violence, I have stepped forward. All of the women in my group are my examples and strengths.”

Help CARE empower more women like Hasina and your gift will have double the impact!

Photo Credits: 2010 Wasfia Nazreen/CARE

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Loko's parents sold her into child marriage with a 62-year-old man when she was 12. Two years later, she suffered from fistula during child birth. Her condition went untreated for seven years until CARE stepped in, and Loko to do the same for other girls.

Loko was born in Gadda Kebele of Aero. Now 20 years old, Loko was sold into child marriage at the age of 12 by her older brother. Her husband was a 62-year-old widower and father of five children. Due to his advanced age, Loko’s husband was not able to provide for his family, leaving them destitute and hungry.

At 14, Loko became pregnant with her first child. After three days of painful, unproductive labor, Loko was finally taken to a doctor in her village. Unable to treat her, Loko was sent to the nearest hospital. It took another transfer to find a hospital with the proper facilities to surgically deliver Loko's child. However, by this time, Loko had been in labor for several days and the child was stillborn. To make matters worse, Loko’s difficult labor and delivery caused damage to her bladder and bowel, making her incontinent.

Although Loko was able to regain continence of her bowel, she remained incontinent of her bladder for seven years. This condition, along with her poverty, made Loko an outcast, making it difficult for her to find help from family or within her community.

"I finally had one daughter but could not predict what her future would be like," Loko said. "At this time I really felt powerless, and every day and night I burst into tears. I prayed my God every day to help me recover from this misery. I swore that if ever I got any type of treatment which makes me feel like a woman again, I will spread this message to the community: 'Never let any woman of the community suffer from the problem I faced.'"

Help came from team members of a CARE project called Healthy Unions. After visiting Loko in her village, CARE transported her to a hospital in Hageremariam where Loko’s condition was diagnosed to be fistula.

Fistula is a condition that occurs from a difficult labor and delivery, often the result of pregnancy in very young girls. The end result is damage to the bladder and bowel that causes incontinence, making personal hygiene difficult, leading to social and personal rejection in many cultures.

Luckily, with the help of CARE, Loko was finally taken to a hospital in Yirgalem that specializes in the repair of fistulas. After corrective surgery and a 14 day stay at the hospital, Loko was cured and fully recovered from her illness.

Loko’s ordeal inspired her to spread awareness in her community about the harmful practice of early marriage. “I will continue to work hard on these issues throughout my life, with full commitment to act as a model. For all that I want to express my strong gratitude to Healthy Unions Project.”

Donate to help other women like Loko, and your gift will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $1 million!

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Sadrika attends her women's group meeting in #Nepal, where the women work together to educate the community about the harmful effects of child marriage.

Photo Credits: 2010 Kate Holt/CARE

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Sadrika Harigan, who was forced into #childmarriage at the age of 14, sits with her three sons at their home in a village near Rupandehi, Nepal.

Photo Credits: 2010 Kate Holt/CARE

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Asha Duale, chairwoman of a CARE-supported Village Savings & Loan Association, started a small clothing and sundries stall in Higlo village in Somaliland. Like many of her fellow members, Asha and her family lost most of their animals to drought, and were left with only 4 or 5 sheep and goats.

They were forced to migrate to town and seek support from village-dwelling relatives. Ashla is benefiting from CARE's Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) project, which focuses on internally displaced persons (IDPs), vulnerable women and families with large numbers of girls. Members gain access to credit and business training -- but most importantly, access to self-realization, self-respect and empowerment.

Photo Credits: 2011 Rick Perera/CARE

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In Sept. 2005, Typhoon Damrey crossed east Vietnam with winds of more than 60 mph. Only Hau Loc District, escaped extensive damage. This is attributed to a belt of mangrove forests which play an essential role in preventing soil erosion and which also protected dykes by slowing down the force of the storm waves.

CARE works in this area on a Community-Based Mangrove Reforestation and Management Project that focuses on livelihood diversification, reforestation of extensive mangrove areas and sustainable, participatory management as key aspects of protecting vulnerable communities from the physical and economic impacts of disasters.

Tran Thi Giang is 19 years old and the leader of the Green team of Da Loc Commune. Twenty young people from 16 to 20 have been volunteering for the Green Team for one year. The Green Team is a co-operation between the Youth Union and CARE to clean the beach and remove garbage and barnacle shells from mangrove trees.

Photo Credits: 2009 Cathrine Dolleris/CARE

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In Ecuador, Maria Elvira Azipuela Zimbaña, 45, and one of her sons explain how they are raising rabbits, which provide manure for the natural fungicide ‘BIOL.’

In ‘El Valle del Tambo’ valley in Papallacta, Ecuador, many farmers face food insecurity as their traditional agriculture knowledge fails due to unpredictable and more intense wind, frost and cold.

CARE is helping by training women farmers in how to protect their crops from insects and frost. A group of women aged 19 to 70 — many who are mothers who did not previously have vegetable gardens — now work in the garden and are adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Photo Credits: 2011 Silvia Vallejo/CARE

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One of the members of the -supported Kalcas Village Savings & Loan Association in #Somalia purchased these goats with a loan from the group.

Photo Credits: 2011 Rick Perera/CARE

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Girls play on the grounds of Wadama-go primary school, which still bears the wounds of the civil war that ended 20 years ago in Somaliland. All of the school's 11 teachers have received training under a project run by as part of a consortium with .

Photo Credits: 2011 Rick Perera/CARE

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A key goal of 's response to the drought emergency in Somaliland is improving women's and girls' access to safe, affordable water and sanitation.

With funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has helped 14,000 people in 10 rural villages with water sources and filtration systems, including this unique solar pumping system in Higlo village.

Wheelbarrows and donkey carts provided by CARE help women transport the water home. A bonus from the solar system is a mobile-phone charging station, operated by a woman as a small enterprise and helping foster communication links.

Photo credits: 2011 Rick Perera/CARE

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. staffers Zaynab Ibrahim (left) and Anisa Mohamed (right) show off some mischievous graffiti at a primary school in #Somalia - so mischievous, that they had to repaint the second line. Can you tell what it used to say?

Photo Credits: 2011 Rick Perera/CARE

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Dura Bhattarai cleans the toilet her women's group constructed. Dura is the president of the women's group and is recognized far and wide because of her work providing easy access to clean water and hygiene training.

She participated in a women’s empowerment procession and advocacy at the national level in December, 2007 that was organized by CARE Nepal.

Photo Credits: 2008 Salina Shakya/CARE

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Guyatu holds her baby in front of her family's new latrine. She constructed it with her husband after CARE started hygiene and sanitation training in her community.

Photo Credits: 2010 Sintayehu Messele/CARE

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Students from the Quisquis school in Papallacta, #Ecuador, are learning how to do maintenance on their school garden. They are weeding lettuce, acelga and papa nabo crops. The school adds these vegetables to lunches they serve students to boost nutrition.

Photo credits: 2011 Silvia Vallejo/CARE

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Zeinab always wanted to go to school. With a little help from CARE, she overcame pressure from her parents and community in Somalia to finish school, avoid a forced marriage and eventually become a teacher.

Read her full story:

Photo Credits: 2010 Fatima Osman/CARE

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Stacey Ashley is 9-years-old and a fourth-grader at Nanighi Primary School in the northeastern Kenyan region of Garissa.

She demonstrates the new CARE-installed water system at the school. People used to depend on the Tana River for water, and often had to walk long distances to reach it. The water was not always safe to drink, and both adults and children lost their lives to crocodile attacks at the river.

Now CARE is installing water systems in the region like this one, with funding from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Global Water Initiative, reaching 44,000 residents in Garissa and Fafi Districts. CARE is also helping to launch irrigation systems using river water to grow crops.

Photo Credits: 2011 Rick Perera/CARE

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