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Source: The Citizen
Dar es Salaam — Founder and executive director of Msichana Initiative Rebeca Gyumi, has won the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (Unicef)'s social change award for fighting child marriages in the country.

A statement released by Unicef's communications specialist Usia Ledama on Wednesday noted that Ms Gyumi was recognised at the first annual Global Goals Awards in New York on Tuesday.

She was awarded alongside Syrian teen Olympic swimmer who saved fellow refugees from drowning and an organisation that brings health care to vulnerable girls and women in Pakistan.

The Msichana Initiative won a landmark case in July this year after the High Court ruled that Section 13 and 17 of the Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

Speaking after receiving the award, she said changing the law was one step towards ending child marriages in Tanzania, but noted that a wider campaign to change inhuman acts against children is still needed.

"I would like to dedicate this award to all girls in Tanzania and every girl around the world who escaped child marriage in search of freedom. You are my true motivation," she was quoted as saying, calling for the world to work together to end the abuse of girls.

Ms Yusra Mardini from Syria was honoured with the girl awards for saving her sister and 20 other people in 2015 when the boat they were travelling in capsized while fleeing conflict in Syria. Yusra guided the boat to safety.

The global goal awards are part of ongoing efforts to rally support for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by every country in the world to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030.

The ceremony to recognise the trio was attended by leaders from the business, government and entertainment community.

By Citizen Reporter

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