Sometimes I really believe I can have no tears left to shed about the girls at Rafiki Mwema. I have shed so many. I imagine I have heard and experienced the worst depravities that anyone can inflict on a baby girl – and then we have weeks like last week where I was emotionally floored several times.
The horrors of what has happened to these children wouldn’t make appropriate reading and would sicken you to your stomach; my tears fell for them.
My fear escalated that we couldn’t take these little ones into our house and take them on a long journey of love and healing; my tears fell again.
We have good robust policies at Rafiki Mwema, including an exit policy. We know that we are a therapeutic centre and our job is to work with the girls to help them make sense of their horror; to work with parents, schools, churches, communities and government officials to eradicate the stigma and blame that is attached to these innocent little girls, and to send them safely home. And we have done that many many times.
But what about the girls we have supported where home is not an option? What do we do then? We have a wonderful link with an orphanage that is loving and kind but shared by boys and girls – some of our girls go there. But we can’t send all our troubled girls to one place. Some are petrified of any males, some are so deeply damaged it is possible that they would become the perpetrator if we placed them with other vulnerable children. So, many stay with us because there is no safe place for them. And my goodness those young ladies flourish!
The extra time really cements their healing and I have no regrets or guilt about them being with us long term, but it does take it’s toll on the access to our services. We have a very small house, which we squeeze 26 girls into. The bedrooms are cosy to say the least. All our girls have their own beds but they are pretty close together. We move the tables around the house to ensure we can have classrooms set out – dining tables to sit around as a family; We move tables so we can all join together at the beginning and end of the day – our little ones are amazing how quickly they clear heavy furniture out of a room; we have our washing room where most people would have a welcome mat – in the entrance to the house; our therapy room is in the volunteer accommodation – I hope you are getting the picture – we are jammed packed! But none of that matters as long as we can help the girls that come away.
Sadly we are now so full we have had to turn away some very needy baby girls; my tears fall for them even as I type. We simply cannot fit another body in – and then we are in danger of being less therapeutic if we have bigger numbers; Such a worry
Last week it all just seemed to cave in on me. The dream; the hope; the love and the futures of these little ones depended on us being able to help them – and three very very small babies with injuries you cannot imagine where going to be denied the help that makes Play Kenya and Rafiki Mwema unique – that just couldn’t happen.
We simply have the most amazing staff who will roll up their sleeves and accept the challenges we give them. They support shoe-horning more children in and so one little one has arrived with trauma so deep within she wears it like a mask. Fearful and expecting the worse our newest baby girl arrived into the magic of RM. The other two siblings are undergoing further surgeries this week and will be with us very soon. I fear that if we open a window in the bedrooms a child may pop out of it they are so crammed now. But our role is to help – and mine to shed tears again it seemed.
The lovely wonderful Sarah Rosborg shares my tears and frustrations on a regular basis. She is an amazing warm, committed and ABLE young woman who I am thrilled to count as friend as well as have the pleasure of being alongside her selfless devotion to Rafiki Mwema. She, like me, shed tears for these girls and the knowing that we can’t have any more at Rafiki Mwema. Unlike me, she then pulled her fab committee together and did something amazing!
She told you guys what was happening and she asked for your help – and my goodness – you have helped!
We will be able to rent a further house for our less needing girls, where we can therapeutically parent and support then, while lessening the burden on our vulnerable newer girls, who need so much more in the early stages of their journeys. We will keep the door open for more children without compromising the care they so desperately need – the care that is unique in the way we hold their hands on their individual path of healing.
Is thank you enough? I’m not sure but I’ll give it a go.
Thank you to every single person who has EVER spoken kindly about the work we do – you are awesome!
Thank you to every single person who has liked our page and then shared it – you are brilliant!
Thank you to every single person who has blogged about us – You are breath-taking.
Thank you to every single person who has donated anything at all EVER to our project – you are astounding!
Thank you to the hard working committees that make all these things happen – you are astonishing!
Thank you to Sarah for every single moment that you give to change the lives of such beautiful and damaged girls – you are dazzling!
And my tears?
They are flooding my keyboard as I type. But these tears are full of love admiration and hope. Love for all of you; admiration for what you have achieved in a blink of an eye and hope that we will continue the work we do into the future.
Hope that we will support the abused and the potential future abusers to make permanent changes in a world where little girls live in fear and pain.
Hope that we will make a difference and change the lives of the girls we should never need to meet.
Hope that you know that I would love to meet each of you and thank you for the depth of my soul for making life a little easier and full of love, in a world where there has been very little of that for our children.
Hope, that you feel the love radiate to you from Kenya.
And still the tears fall xxxx