With twin boys to look after and a third child arriving next spring, Rawan's hopes of completing her education have become a thing of the past.

Rawan* is feeding her two toddlers before embarking on a full day of fruit-picking in the farm. She will leave them with her mother-in-law and will not have a chance to see them again before sunset.

Now 17, Rawan is expecting a third child. By spring, she will have given birth to three children in three years. "I don't know whether it is a girl or a boy. We have not chosen a name yet," she says.

Marriage was never a goal for Rawan. When she completed her secondary school education, she thought the dream of joining university was getting closer to fulfilment.

But soon after, Rawan was leading a grown-up life. Economic hardship and fears for her security forced her to take a premature step.

"I never thought my future would take this shape. Like any other girl, I was expecting to join university, but war started and we had to flee Syria."

The young mother believes that her children should be free to create their own future, but realises that it would not be fair for them to accept the same destiny she did.

Rawan attends Save the Children’s positive parenting sessions, which offer advice for mothers and also warn them about the dangers of child marriage.

"If I met a girl of my age who is in school, of course I would tell her to keep going. Why would she stop and get married? No."

*Name changed for protection purposes.


Rawan became the breadwinner in the family when her father died. Harsh economic conditions forced her to quit school and work in the farm. When her future husband proposed to her, she thought she was finally leaving that desperate phase of her life.

At 15, Rawan had to carry the heavy responsibility of looking after her new family. She doesn’t allow herself to get tired or quit working even though she is pregnant. Her twin boys rely on her to provide their milk.

Rawan shares her experience with girls of her age who plan to get married soon. At Save the Children’s Positive Parenting sessions, supported by Unicef and implemented by the Lebanese Relief Council (LRC), discussions focus on issues related to pregnancy, the role of parents and domestic violence.