Doreen* - Video Transcript

Back to video


Doreen I first met my husband when he came here to propose marriage. I was 13 when I got married. My husband was 30 years old.


Text over moving imagery Zambia


Doreen My name is Doreen, I am 14 years old. My mother died in 2000. She just dropped dead. My Father also died in 2012. He was killed. That’s when we moved here with grandmother.

We remained five so I thought I could look after my four siblings if I agreed to get married as my grandmother had planned. I was supposed to be in school. I was not mature enough, I still had the mind of a child. I was very scared. When I got married, I couldn’t continue with school. I spent most of my time doing chores around the house, such as sweeping, washing, washing dishes.

The biggest challenge I’ve found being married at a young age is that my husband makes all the decisions. Life is always difficult if my husband doesn’t find work. We don’t have food and we go to sleep on an empty stomach. We are just suffering. I used to admire my friends going to school when I was at home sweeping. They used to pass my home, going to school wearing their uniforms. 

I got pregnant last year in October. What I was experiencing – people were pointing at me: ‘That one is pregnant, walking around pregnant.’ It was because I was so young. I couldn’t have a normal delivery because my birth canal was too small. In the doctor’s opinion I was too young. That was the main reason why they advised an operation. I don’t feel good.

My life would have taken a better turn had I gone to school. I would have completed and become a teacher. I would have been earning my own salary. And I wouldn’t like anyone who is 14 to go through what I have been through. 


Text over white screen Since this film was made, with CAMFED’s support Doreen has returned to school. So many other girls are still waiting…

Thank you to our generous recent donors

Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty


Anonymous Anonymous £7

Alashiya Gordes €20

Vicky Etherington £30

Sebastien Bonvalet-Nicolle $200

Andrew Shields £100

Rabbi Jonathan Gerard $10

Rosemary Snelgar £10

Marcel Bollag $500

Claire Wilshaw £100

Joanna Panosky $500

Nicole Distler €25

Gilbert and Carol Kachmar $50

Aku Limbanga $50

Alastair Reid £100

Cathy Eijk €11