News from Anne Marie in Kenya
It’s so hard preparing to leave, especially leaving John here, but also when the girls are still opening up with their stories. One of our girls has been with us nearly 2 years and she told her story for the FIRST time ever this evening.
Imagine being under 8 years old, raped by a neighbour and when you go home to tell your family, your brother repeats the crime! Just horrific. But this brave little girl then had the courage to find a way of escaping from the house when her brother locked her and her younger siblings in doors and told them he was coming back to do it again. She ran away with her young family and survived in a very rough area, with no home, no money, no family and looking over her shoulder to see if her brother had found them. I simply cannot imagine doing that as an adult and most certainly not as a scared vulnerable little child. I continue to be in awe of these baby girls and their survival stories. The brutality of what has happened to them is undeniable but to see them emerge, just a little, as a strong young woman is humbling and empowering at the same time. She eventually returned to her home some considerable time later, to find her mother had emptied the house and moved away. A neighbour took her to the police station and they brought her to us. She doesn’t know where her sisters are and she wants to be able to find them. We will help this to happen. She deserves at least that for the pain and fear she has been through. And I have a cunning plan!
I have worried for a while about the distances some of our girls have geographically travelled before coming to Rafiki Mwema and how difficult it is to visit them regularly. We really do need a stronger vehicle to get to the remote areas – but we also have children who have returned to the slum areas of Nairobi and in town areas. So, we have employed a new member of staff , who will job-share with Joyce, to ensure a member of our team visits our girls who have gone home at least fortnightly. This will be done at school so the girls can speak more freely if they have any issues at home. I feel this is helping our girls to stay safe.