It is said that a hand that gives is the hand that receives, the dream of saving the Samburu girlchild finally came to realization after a successful visit to Samburu County, Suguta Marmar area by members of Fr. Ck Foundation led by Fr Charles Kinyua the founder, well-wishers in association with the Sisters of Mary Immaculate.
Seated at a semi-arid area of 20,182 square Km, Samburu County is home to more than 300,000 people with the main economic activity being nomadic pastoralism and other parts practicing agro-pastoralism.
The severe lack of rain across the County has seen many households get deprived of water, food, good sanitation as well as experience strained livelihoods.
A trip down the 319.7km stretch from Nairobi to Suguta Marmar in Samburu County led the team to a rocky area but yet soft hearted environment of a girls only rescues centre under the stewardship of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate.
The day began with Holy Mass presided over by Fr Charles Kinyua, who emphasized on the need to live as a family and show love just as Christ loves His Church. Thereafter the team visited the girls who had smiles written over their faces. They were welcomed with song and dance from their native Samburu Culture.
Stories from the girls were what left everyone’s mouth agape. Jennifer, a 14year old girl gave her testimony of how she was to be married off by her dad to a 72year old man. Being at a tender age, afraid and confused, she ran away from her family in search for help. A dangerous and terrifying 1-week journey through the dense forest filled with wild animals saw her arrive at Maralal town. There, she narrated her story to the area chief who took her to the police, she was afterwards taken to the rescue centre where she got help from the sisters.
The other girl, Teresia, a 13-year-old from the area saw the worst, running from her family due to fear of being married off at a tender age, Teresia, accompanied with two other girls, ran through an animal infested forest where unfortunately one of the girls, a good friend of Teresia, was attacked and eaten by a lion. Fear led them off the scene, forcing them to sleep on top of trees during the night to avoid similar attacks by the wild animals. Adding more salt to the injury, when they got to the main road leading to the main town in Samburu, Maralal, they begged Lorry drivers for a ride to the town but were told to know Swahili or English so as to properly ask for assistance. This took them another tedious journey through the rocky road up until they met the police and were taken to the rescue centre.
Many of the girls there arrived not knowing any language aside their native one, they would marvel upon eating cabbage as they termed it as goat’s food. They did not even know how chapati looked or tasted like, soda to them seemed like a foreign drink. Back at their homes before running away, the girls survived on raw blood and milk only.
The visit to the girls saw them get food stuffs, clothing and other personal items. Their bright faces would show how happy they were with most of them hugging and chanting praises to the visitors.
The visit ended with a prayer from Father Charles Kinyua with a promise to revisit them and offer more support.
A saying goes when you educate a girl, you educate the society. ‘Nguvu ya bunduki na roho ya simba’, a slogan that keeps the girls moving is just a shadow of what they look forward to achieve in the near future, all they ask for is prayers and support for them and many others who’s stories have not seen the light of day.