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She Was Six Years Old

2 December 2009 No Comment

Mercy Chidi

Kenya

It was a game she was being taught, “chezo wa watoto,” a game of the young children. It was painful but she innocently says she got used to the pain. Having temporarily separated with his wife, her father was left to take care of the young Jackie [not her real name]. He took on all the responsibilities of the mother and father, including bathing the young girl, washing her clothes, cooking for her, and all. The worst is that the girl was forced to play the sexual role of the wife. So beastly!

As young as six, she was being defiled severally by the very person she loved, trusted, and ran to in times of fear. Jackie would come from school to find her father waiting for her. He would take off her clothes, defile her, and then bathe her. This was the daily routine, and the innocent girl says that whenever she played the “game” with her father he would prepare her favourite food – rice or chapatti. One day during ten o’clock break she decided to pair up her classmates and teach them the game her father taught her. This was the God-sent opportunity to have this child rescued from the abusive father. Her class teacher found them, and after she inquired, the child innocently demonstrated the game. The school head called the office and the case was assessed.

The girl was rescued from the abusive environment. She has been provided with the following support while at the Brenda Boone Tumaini Centre: shelter, counseling, medical care, and legal support and advice. It was very challenging for the girl to testify in court against her father, but we thank God justice has prevailed. The accused was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment. Plans are underway to have the girl discharged back to the community. We are trusting God that she will get a sponsor through the foster care programme, as her mother has since been chased away from her husband’s home.

Jackie may be one of our successes. Often we are not successful in obtaining justice for our children and families. The litigation processes are very demanding and require special training, skills, and experience. Some of the cases that we have lost can be attributed to the lack of a person with legal expertise to follow them through and make use of appeal courts, where necessary, so that the victims can know peace in their hearts.

Founded in 2001, Ripples International is registered as a religious trust in Kenya. We are an accountable, life transforming organization centering on the welfare of children and development of communities, with emphasis on empowering households and families to take full responsibility for their future. The Tumaini (Hope) Centre, founded in 2006, is the only shelter for sexually abused girls in all of central Kenya.

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