Weʼre raising £800 to Help fund the development of a Rescue Centre for young girls fleeing from FGM and forced Marriages in Narok, Kenya
- Narok, Kenya
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I am looking to raise some money to support the development of a new charity in Narok, Kenya that aims to support young girls trying to escape FGM and forced marriages. FGM is and child marriages are illegal in Kenya however these traditions are difficult to break in the rural areas of Narok town which mainly comprises of Maisai people. The initial funds will be used to register the charity and complete all the legal documentation that will enable the charity to legally function in Kenya.
The Shelter of Hope Rescue Centre (SHRC) will be a Community Based Organisation that seeks to bring together like minded people and at the same time, We look forward to working together with the community, the religious organisations and the government to ensure that girls who are forced to under go through FGM, (Female Genital Mutilation) that they have a place they can run to and seek refuge as we arrange on how they are going to continue with their education and later on if circumstances allow, they can be reconciled and re-united with their parents/guardians.
SHRC believes that all children have the right to a safe environment, healthy nutrition, and to a proper education. We are committed to providing this for the disadvantaged girls in the Narok County of Kenya.
Girls are the most disadvantaged members of the Maasai family and are often viewed as property by their fathers. They have no rights of their own. Girls are often forced to undergo FGM and later married off at a very young age, to sometimes as young as 10 years old. They are sometimes forced to marry much older men, the age of their fathers or even their grandfathers. Once a girl has undergone FGM, they are taught to believe that they are now women and can now have a family of their own. Therefore once such happens, then the chances for such a girl for further education is nonexistent.
Not all Maasai children have the opportunity to attend school, girls are the last in a father’s priorities to educate. Worse yet once a girl marries she’s no longer allowed to be educated. Her older husband expects her to maintain their cattle, have children and take care of the family. These young brides are not ready for the rigors of being a wife and all the chores and responsibilities associated with it. Any small misstep in wifely duties can result in very harsh punishment by the husband including physical abuse. The men call this ‘training’, but in actual fact it is abuse.
At this young age a girl is not ready physically for sexual intercourse or for giving birth. Many young married girls give birth to stillborn or unhealthy babies. If the Maasai educated all their girls, these girls would be able to find good jobs and help support their families.The common dowry payment of cows is only a one time short-term gain for the father. The education of the girls is a lifetime investment in the betterment of the entire family.
It’s not easy to change deeply ingrained cultural views, but we refuse to accept that this tradition will not change. Education and the prosperity that education brings would greatly accelerate this traditional outdated practice. This is the reason as to why SHRC was established to make the dream of that disadvantaged girl, come true.
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