Child, not a bride. This year's NRK Telethon . Photo credit PLAN International Norway.


Every autumn, the annual Norwegian charity campaign, the NRK Telethon (TV-aksjonen), raises money for a chosen cause. This year’s cause, BARN IKKE BRUD (CHILD, NOT A BRIDE), is about child marriages. KONGSBERG joins the fight against harmful practices and unequal social norms.

Photo credit: PLAN International Norway

It is the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), the government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company and the largest media organisation in Norway, that is the organizer of the annual telethon. The NRK Telethon is granted to a different Norwegian organization every year, and this year’s organization was Plan International Norway.

For NOK 5,500, Plan International Norway can stop a child marriage, and for NOK 100,000 it can run a youth group that teaches girls and women about their rights and gender equality.

“Child marriage is a harmful practice that denies girls their right to make vital decisions about their well-being and future. It forces them out of education and into a life of poor prospects. That’s why ending child marriage is the right thing to do. If KONGSBERG can help support this cause and UN's Sustainable Development Goals, we will of course do that,” says Hans Petter Blokkum, Group Executive Vice President, HR & Security, KONGSBERG.

One of KONGSBERG commitments is to contribute to value creation and economic development in the communities where we operate. Being an international technology group means that we have a larger social responsibility. Our focus is on nurturing children’s and young people’s interests and skills in the natural sciences.

Early marriage makes completing education almost impossible for girls, and the marriage reduces the likelihood that they will complete their secondary education.

Child marriage is a global problem that cuts across borders and cultures. Around 650 million women and girls alive today were married as children. Unless efforts are not accelerated, 150 million more young girls will be married by 2030. The UN SDGs include goals on gender equality and education. Education is one of the most powerful tools available to prevent such marriages, and promote gender equality. Education provides protection for girls and also provides them with the knowledge and skills to determine their own future. By taking an active part and donating to causes such as the NRK Telethon, development organizations will have the funds needed to tackle these harmful practices and unequal social norms.

“Children should have the right to a childhood. Current estimates indicate over 10 million girls enter marriage as a child (younger than 18). When a girl is placed in a marriage at a young age, she is often deprived of the ability to obtain an education, experiences early pregnancy and child-birth and has a greater chance of living in poverty throughout her lifetime. The NRK Telethon is not only about the fundraising itself, but also about the commitment to eliminating this global challenge,” says Eirik Lie, President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

The NRK Telethon is the largest information campaign and fundraising event in Norway. It involves everyone from local communities, Norwegian industry, to the Royal Family. On the day of the Telethon, NRK broadcasts a six-hour long TV-show reporting from the chosen countries and projects in the field.

The telethon typically raises between NOK 180 and 240 million, and the organizations are given a timeframe of five years to implement their proposed projects. The telethon raised over NOK 239 million in 2020.

Celebrities and spokespersons are also invited to feature in the world’s longest radio show hosted by P3, one of Norway’s most popular radio channel for youth and young adults. The program is 100 hours long and raised over 7. 8 million NOK in 2020.

The NRK Telethon has run every year since 1974. The NRK Telethon will air on 24 October, 2021.

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