Bongai Mhloyi, a Zimbabwean is the CEO and Founder of End Child Marriages – a nonprofit organization based in Zimbabwe. She is passionate about providing education and a better future for girls (in certain parts of Zimbabwe) where child marriages are practiced and prevalent. With a degree in social work and graduate studies in special education, Bongai provides a safe community for these young girls to pursue and advance in their careers by providing scholarships for them in Zimbabwe.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Bongai shares her first-hand experience of a child-marriage in her family at the tender age of 12. At the time, her 75-year-old maternal grandfather married a 12-year-old child after paying ten cows to her family as dowry. She recalled how unhappy this child was and the numerous times she voiced her plans to run away. And she eventually did.
While in high school, Bongai met her husband and they got married afterwards, and thereafter immigrated to Pennsylvania, U.S for college. Bongai narrates how challenging it was initially, to transition to a foreign country with a cooler climate, and how thankful she and her husband were to have had an older couple who willingly took them in. She reveals that their immigration story is quite unique, especially since they were housed and fed without charge by this older couple.
While in the U.S, thoughts of the young girl who had run away from Bongai’s grandfather plagued her, and though she had no clue of her whereabouts, she was spurred to do something for young girls in similar situations like hers. Thus, Bongai decided to start a nonprofit organization geared toward rescuing young girls from child marriages and sponsoring their education in Zimbabwe.
Bongai shared some of her success stories so far, and how fulfilling it has been to gradually eradicate child marriages in certain regions of her motherland. For instance, she revealed that a girl sponsored by her organization ended up getting her masters degree, and upon her graduation, started two businesses and is currently an employer of labor. Bongai encourages people and organizations to partner with her in empowering generations through the empowering of these girls.
You can email Bongai at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (484) 356-8935.
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