*** The picture does not relate to the story*** We try so hard for all our children to search for their family and build a connection, but sometimes news is not good. We are not saying they must return home as, for many of our boys, this is not an option due to physical and emotional safety, but if we can build a relationship that they can develop and take into adulthood, the boys will have a true sense of their family.
I’d like to talk about our staff at Play Kenya and Rafiki Mwema. Where do I begin? We ask SO much of them, not because we are tough employers, at least I don’t think we are, but we ask them to change their thinking so much. Not all our staff come from safe and gentle childhoods that may equip them to work along side abused girls and violated boys, who only have complex behaviour to get their needs met.
You might see a lot of photos with our children playing, swimming, dancing and there is a really good reason for that! When we first started working with our boys, it was when they lived very tough and dangerous lives on the streets of town. I had always had a want to work with these boys as I believe, as I often say, that if we can change the ways that boys think and act, then we can change generations to come.
Everyday good things happen in our four therapeutic houses. Everyday a small change happens taking one of our Kings or Queens striding on towards a ultimate goal – but somedays are just AMAZING!!! Today is one of those days Two years ago a small frightened little girl arrived in our house. She was five years old and had been sexually tortured by her step mother. She had injuries you dare not even imagine. She was broken into a million pieces, physically and emotionally.
Sitting at breakfast this trip has been a joy. We have taken two boys from our older Kings house with us each morning. It gives me a way of ensuring I spend time with them all, as I have a crazy busy agenda while I’m here. It has other impacts to. Many of the boys have opened up about life in town before they came to live with us. One boy talked about his childhood. His father died when he was five. He described him as a good man that didn’t beat him but talked to him if he made a mistake. His mother died the following year, again she was a kind and loving mama, so proud of her four children.
I am not sure where to start with this post. It is long overdue.. It should have come months ago when Laura from Asante Adventures started ‘Safari Mwema’ for Rafiki Mwema. It should have come while all of the wonderful participants where busy working hard raising funds to reach their $2000 target or perhaps it should have come when they were climbing that ridiculous size mountain!
Support the girls and we change their lives in a positive way, help them to build a better safer future and move forwards from the horrific abuse they have experienced. Support the boys and we will build a future generation that will be loving caring young men, that respect women and become good fathers that
There has been lots of change at our girls house with two of our little ones making the next step home. This is always an anxious time, despite all the months of preparation and planning. We have worked hard with our girls to prepare them for the task of giving evidence in court, that’s after being subjected often to intrusive medical procedures, following their abuse; we have connected and worked with the families and their communities to help them to manage the stigma that their families may encounter – because their baby girl was attacked and violated. Makes no sense for these beautiful baby girls and their families, they are innocent angels, how can they be rejected by the communities that need to protect them. We help change those thoughts.
There are so many things I could tell you about walking around Nakuru town. It’s a busy colourful and bustling place with so many local traditions and sights, but also some real indicators that the area is encouraging tourists. There are several coffee shops which attract mainly European customers, which bring much needed income into the area.
Please bear with me while I share with you some wonderful wonderful news. One of our very traumatised young men has been accepted to catering college. To say his journey has been tough is simply not enough. He has faced more in his 17 years than you could imagine.
What can I say – and where do I start with this trip. I have laughed so much and I have cried a river of tears, sometimes in the same moment! I’m not sure I can do it justice in a blog but I’ll give it a go.
She is the eldest of her three siblings. Her experience was so shocking that it was all over the national news here in Kenya. She and her sisters, and mother, had been systematically beaten and raped by their father, who is now in prison for life. She was very withdrawn and totally overshadowed by her noisy little sisters.
Dan Hughes has been to visit our project in Kenya! That is simply huge and I can’t quite believe it has happened! Dan is the guy who developed Dyadic Developmental Practice and travel the world as a prolific and entertaining speaker. He has written many books and has changed the concept of how to support traumatized children. I love and have studied his work for years.
???? WARNING – EMOTIONAL AND HEARTFELT ???? I want to say something about the video link. I am busting with something but I don’t know what the word is.
One of our brave little girls managed to speak this morning in court and tell the magistrate – who was sensitive and caring and the prosecutor who arranged the furniture so she didn’t have to see the accused – what happened to her.
*Lacey has such a special place in the heart of Rafiki Mwema. She was the first child to arrive through our doors from the remand centre over 5 years ago, a malnourished baby girl, covered in cuts ringworm and sores. To say she was strong willed was an understatement – she was bossy, cross and controlling – and I fell in love with her within 2 minutes! I’d love to say the feeling was returned but it most certainly wasn’t! She told me later that her village told her that white people captured small children and cooked them – so sensibly she refused to eat so I would cook another child! No wonder she was stressed!
Yesterday, yet again, the internet joined forces to really help our amazing children at Rafiki Mwema. It was a day when some incredible lovely strong women saw the need of another and joined in to help. It was a day we added a little more to our dream of safety and security for our Rafiki
4 little boys who we met on the streets yesterday have now joined our family. We simply couldn't leave them there in the pouring rain. We believe they are aged from 5 to 9 years old only and have lived on the streets for years. Our big boys have all agreed that we take them
Empowering Resources (Naomi Hunter) and Rafiki Mwema are joining forces to raise funds to create a bilingual Swahili / English copy of A Secret Safe to Tell, by Naomi Hunter. We have commissioned a Kenyan artist to recreate the images with an African basis providing a book that will nurture, educate and empower kids from Kenya
Anne Marie was interviewed by Kidspot for this article in response to the four corners program: Australia's Shame. Here is what she had to say, in full: Having watched the Four Corners report I am immediately struck by the similarities between the experience the young men in the shocking and sickening television documentary and those