Photography: Esther Mbabzi
About VOW for Girls
VOW for Girls is a growing global movement that partners with brands and individuals to end the international child marriage crisis. Count to three. 1…2…3… A child just became a bride. By raising funds and awareness, VOW’s mission is to end child marriage by building a connected groundswell of love and support for every girl whose right to own her future is at risk.
100% of the funds raised by VOW for Girls are invested in underfunded local efforts that advance girls’ rights by providing education, job training, and vital life skills, so girls can own their futures. VOW for Girls is a vow for the future.
Of the 150+ organizations supported to date, 90% are led by women. An estimated 260,000 girls have been directly impacted by this work to date and 1.6 million individuals have indirectly benefited. Funds raised are distributed through VOW’s sister organization and granting partner, the Girls First Fund.
Mabel van Oranje, an avid human rights activist, had an aha moment at a wedding where a couple asked for donations in lieu of gifts. What if she could marry the wedding industry to the cause she championed and end the international child marriage crisis? Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, got on board. Enter VOW for Girls, the growing global movement that partners with brands and individuals to end child marriage.
Photography: Esther Mbabzi
About Child Marriage
● There is potential in every girl, and girls globally deserve to have their rights respected and their dreams protected. Every girl has the right to own her future. But
every year, 12 million girls, some as young as 8, become child brides — that’s one girl every three seconds. No child should ever be a bride.
● Child marriage is on the rise due to COVID-19. With millions of girls forced out of school and increased economic uncertainty for families, it’s estimated that an
additional 10 million child marriages will occur over the next decade.
● Child marriage occurs across countries, cultures, and religions and even happens in the US. It is a human rights violation that deprives girls of an education and removes
their ability to make many fundamental choices about their lives.
Photography: Esther Mbabzi
How VOW Raises Funds
● Engaged couples choosing to add a VOW donation option to their wedding registry/gift list or creating a fundraiser for VOW in addition to or in lieu of gifts.
● Engaged couples choosing VOW to benefit from the sale of items on their registry with The Knot.
● Proceeds from the sale of products from brand partners such as Crate and Barrel, among others.
● Individual donations from consumers wanting to support girls’ rights.
What does VOW do with the funds it raises?
VOW for Girls believes in locally-driven solutions. And thanks to generous donors who fund VOW’s staff and infrastructure, VOW ensures that 100% of the funds raised from individuals, brands, and wedding industry partners go directly to community-based organizations working to end child marriage.
VOW finds that the more organizations engage directly with girls on a consistent basis, the more impact they have. That’s why VOW works with their sister organization and granting partner, the Girls First Fund, to fill a funding gap at the local level by focusing on overlooked, grassroots organizations that play an important role in the day-to-day lives of girls. Efforts include advancing girls’ rights by providing education, job training, and vital life skills, so girls can own their futures. Since VOW’s founding, 150+ community-based organizations in six countries have received grants, and 90% of those grantees are women-led organizations.
VOW Pro: Harnessing the Power of Global Wedding Professionals
The VOW Pro network is specifically designed for wedding professionals and wedding-aligned businesses to drive social change and support the lives of girls globally. Intended to help raise awareness among vendor and client networks, professionals can become involved in a number of ways, with no cost to them, based on business type and preference.
Since launching the network in 2021, wedding professionals from 14 countries have united to take a vow to end child marriage. The enthusiastic support to make VOW the gift of choice for weddings globally gets us closer to ending child marriage.
VOW Partners & Products
VOW for Girls works with leading brands to raise awareness and funds to end child marriage.
VOW partners with brands you love to create products and experiences to help fund efforts to end child marriage.
Current and past brand partners include: Aisle Planner, Bird & Stone, BOXFOX, buffr, Crate and Barrel, Frank Darling, Jamie Wolf, Justin Alexander, The Knot, The Little Market, Malia Mills, Miriam de Ungría, The Mrs. Clutch, The Peninsula Hotels, prinkshop, Reem Acra New York, Saint Mae, Single Stone, Sundance Now, The True Gem, and Viktor&Rolf Fragrances.
Dozens of celebrities and influencers have supported VOW, speaking out in support of girls and inspiring more than 11 million social media actions. These social actions lead to donations and increased awareness.
VOW supporters include Gal Gadot, Lucy Hale, Kristen Bell, Shay Mitchell, Christy Turlington, Richard Branson, Robin Wright, Kendall Jenner, Helena Christiansen, Sheryl Sandberg, Garrett Clayton, Stella Damasus, Margaret Cho, Trudie Styler, Eileen Davidson, Danai Gurira and Aimee Song, among others.
Mabel van Oranje, Co-Founder
Mabel van Oranje is a global advocate for equality, justice, and freedom and serial entrepreneur for social change. In addition to VOW for Girls, she is the founder and chair of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, and played a catalytic role in the creation of the Girls First Fund. Mabel is a member of the (advisory) boards of Apolitical Academy Global, Global Witness, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, and The Elders. She is a co-founder and chair emeritus of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Darren Walker, Co-Founder
Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, an international social justice philanthropy with a $13 billion endowment and $600 million in annual grantmaking. For two decades, he has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Darren led the philanthropy committee that helped bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy and chairs the US Alliance on Impact Investing. He co-chairs New York City’s Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and serves on the Commission on the Future of Riker’s Island Correctional Institution and the UN International Labor Organization Commission on the Future of Work. He also serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the High Line, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Clay Dunn, CEO
Clay Dunn joined VOW for Girls in 2019 as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer. Prior to VOW, Clay spent nearly a decade at Share Our Strength where he was part of the founding team for the No Kid Hungry campaign, which has raised more than a half-billion dollars to end childhood hunger. Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Clay held roles with National Geographic, consulted with Walt Disney Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment, and served as an Urban Fellow with the City of New York.