Video: Help for teenage girl victims of Mali conflict

Children in conflicts

Fresh fighting has broken out in Mali between government forces and rebel groups – days after a ceasefire was agreed.

The country has been hit by conflict since 2012 – and the hidden victims include adolescent girls.

Their plight featured recently in a video from Plan West Africa. The film, called Crisis in the Sahel, is part of Plan International's Because I Am a Girl campaign, which aims to support millions to get the education, support and skills they need to transform their lives.

It shows how teenage girls are particularly vulnerable during disaster situations – often the first victims and the last to get help afterwards..

The Malian city of Timbuktu was occupied for 10 months by armed militias last year. Mariam was 15 when she was forced to marry an insurgent.

In the video, she says: “They said if I did not accept they will either kill me or my parents. I had no choice.”

Plan supports vocational training for victims, as well as providing educational activities for children in safe places.

Mariam now gets training and is looking forward to a brighter future.

The video also tells of the 5000 children – 3000 of them girls – at a refugee camp in neighbouring Niger.

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