What an amazing meeting with Dickson’s Art (Dickson Inyanje Sore), the guy who is illustrating the new African version of ‘A secret safe to tell’ by Naomi Hunter Author This guy has totally captured the emotion and sense of the story and his pictures had me really emotional.
For our meeting I took one of our older boys with me. His story of early childhood abuse is shocking, scary and heart breaking. I had told him about the book we were hoping to produce and he was genuinely interested. What happened next brings a lump to my throat as I remember.
He read the book silently, looked at the drawings; he didn’t speak or look up once. He then picked up the drawings that had been produced and reached over and touched my hand.
“This is good Anne-Marie. This story must be told”
It wasn’t until we got home later that he came and spoke with me. He told me that when his early abuse happened he was scared that he would be beaten by his family for what had happened. That somehow it was his fault and his shame. He said that he kept quiet for years, until a REALLY terrible thing happened to him and we met for the first time when he was just eight years old. He held my hand and said that if he hadn’t met me and found the safety and courage to tell me his story he would never have been able to go to court and testify again one of the most brutal and scary men I have ever had to share air with. That man would still be free to torture and abuse baby boys. Our young man saw him go to prison for life for the crimes he committed. I’m crying reliving standing next to this brave baby boy. It feels so real. It was 8 years ago.
He feels so strongly that this message must go around Kenya. He said that not everyone can sit with kindness and love as he did, but every abused child MUST be told that what happened is in no way their fault. They need to know that their secret will be safe if you tell and help can then come.
I have many memories of this young man who I met as a therapist 8 years ago and who now lives at our boys’ home. What I didn’t have until that day was the intense, huge and overwhelming sense of the safety that came to him through sharing his story with me.
We cried together; we relived our journey together and then, with his beautiful, sad and knowing eyes he told me that it was now my job to help other babies of abuse and I needed to share this with the world.
So I am.
You can change the world of children in Kenya and beyond by making a pledge to our Kickstarter campaign. By pledging you will receive a reward of your choice and make a world of difference for sexually abuse children in Africa. It can only happen if you help us by pledging now. Also Rafiki Mwema will financially benefit from every book produced allowing us to continue to save lives.
Please help now – don’t miss this chance to save lives.