News from Anne-Marie in Kenya:
Last night we began a group for some of our older girls and it was around sex education – you might remember that they talked about their stories and it was pretty full on – to say the least. Tonight I called the group back together with the plan to check in how they were feeling, and discuss this being a regular time together. I wanted it to be a ‘lighter’ experience than last night. We had a check in and it became apparent, of course, the huge impact the group had on them. Some had had terrifying dreams – hundreds of men in a circle around them while they slept, and someone removing their clothes while the others watched was just one dream.
As we set out group rules around listening, respect and keeping what was said in the room, questions were asked about going home. This is a huge fear to the girls and it became apparent why. Our girls are here because they have all been raped and in some cases the men are arrested and in prison. However, it seems that ALL of our group have been raped multiple times and have never said, or no-one has listened to them. They have told but it has been ignored. Our girls have full names of men who are in society, possibly repeating their heinous crimes with other small girls and boys. Their fear is huge that they will be shot (one is the brother of a policeman) beaten or raped when they return. Our girls are babies and shouldn’t even know about these things, yet alone worry about going back to their home.
After the group they started to tell about other men, so I have arranged to see them all alone today to get the details and have these monsters arrested – shocking and sickening. No wonder our baby girls are so scared – and how brave of them to speak out. Sickened and yet proud; broken and yet hopeful; I wish I had a tenth of the bravery of just one of our girls – they are amazing. I have promised to keep them safe – I will make sure I deliver that to them.