A Duke University senior is trying to highlight vulnerable children after Morocco’s deadly earthquake.
The earthquake in Morocco has orphaned an estimated 3,000 children, raising concerns about their safety and vulnerability to exploitation.
Skylar Montague Redecke told WRAL she’s trying to spread awareness about how quickly this can happen.
“Felt a little bit of guilt that I wasn’t there,” Redecke said. “I didn’t know what I could do to help out.”
Thousands of miles from her home country of Morocco, Redecke watches from Durham in worry for the most vulnerable people affected by the earthquake.
“During any natural disaster like this, orphaned girls and children are extremely vulnerable to predators, to child trafficking, arranged marriages, prostitution,” Redecke said.
According to several organizations, including the non-profit Project Soar in Morocco, 14% of teen girls in Morocco are married before the age of 18, and these marriages are often arranged.
“That is why we put together a global giving campaign to meet their specific needs and that includes menstrual products,” Redecke said.
Skylar’s mom, Maryam Montague runs Project Soar.
The group focuses on teen girl empowerment, spreading awareness of the vulnerability and discrimination of girls and the need for menstruation products.
Maryam says the earthquake didn’t help.
“That just exacerbates a situation that is already so, so difficult,” Maryam said.
Project Soar is accepting donations to purchase sanitation and hygiene items, including menstrual products and other essential goods, for people in poor villages affected by the earthquake who cannot afford them.
“When this earthquake hit, we immediately thought of the specific needs of teen girls and mothers,” Maryam said. “These are girls living on less than one dollar a day.”
That battle, plus trying to push the Moroccan government to intervene with at-risk children, is a fight this family takes on together even Skylar’s dad seen here loading up supplies in Morocco.
“Just because I’m not there on the ground doesn’t mean I can’t do things,” Redecke said.
Maryam said that it is simply a matter of tapping into our fundamental human capacity to care for one another.