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Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70 titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. A white five-year-old girl told her mother Christmas and Easter are 'stupid' and European women are alcoholics after being fostered to two Muslim families, it was claimed today.I was thus quite disturbed to read a BBC report titled “Ethiopian girls fight child marriages” which essentially covered the visit of members of “The Elders,” described as a group of eminent global leaders brought together by South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela.The delegation of Elders, was led by retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Mary Robinson, the first woman president of Ireland, and Gro Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway and former head of the World Health Organization.“In one case the husband was eight and the supposed wife was seven. * * * “AWARENESS” is a principal factor that those behind the successful programs are counting on to end the “abomination” of child marriage.One approach is the creation of “girls’ clubs” such as Berhane Hewan, Amharic (the native language of Ethiopia) for “Light for Eve.” In these clubs, young girls learn about issues that, so the report said, “have prepared (them) to resist early marriage: personal health, HIV/AIDS, and the medical complications associated with giving birth at a young age, like fistula.” The last, by the way, is the medical condition when, during the process of childbirth, the tissues separating the birth canal and the rectum are torn.
The child, who is a native English speaker, spent the past six months in two Muslim households after being placed into foster care in Tower Hamlets, east London.Since my knowledge of Ethiopia was based mainly on news stories dating back to the 1970s-1990s about the famines, scourges and coups that beset the country, the first thought that crossed my mind was that I would be visiting a desolate, hard-scrabble land.But when I mentioned to some friends that I would be visiting Addis Ababa, one of them said she’d heard the city was quite cosmopolitan, and that quite a lot of international organizations are based here.The girl’s mother is said to be horrified by the circumstances her daughter has been placed in.A friend told the newspaper: ‘This is a five-year-old white girl.
An Internet check confirmed that “Addis,” as the city is fondly called, is known as “the political capital of Africa,” since it hosts the African Union among other regional and international organizations.