Mary Moraa

Mary’s traumatic story begins with her parents trying to traffic her and her sister. We were very shocked to find out that her parents were attempting to do this to these young girls. Mary is 9 and her sister is 4. Just imagine people you trust and rely on even contemplating trafficking you for their own needs! And worse yet at the age of 9 years! The parents, once discovered, ran away in a selfish attempt to escape police capture, leaving behind Mary as well as her 4 year old younger sister in Town. The two young girls were heartlessly abandoned with no one to help them. This was until a kind Good Samaritan discovered the tender-aged children and took them into her home. Mary and her sister lived with the good-hearted stranger for a month after which they were presented to the local children’s office.

The local office contacted us and we rescued the two girls on 10th December 2015. Mary and her younger sister were placed in a children’s home. This being a serious case that involves breaking of the Child and Human trafficking laws, their case is still currently being followed up by the Children’s office in and out of court.

Even though the rescue was successful, there was another barrier at hand. It was clear that the young girls had experienced a great amount of stress and emotional trauma from the behaviour and mannerisms they exhibited when we first rescued them. In Mary’s case, she found it difficult recalling her family name. She was constantly restless and spent majority of the time running up and down the place. We have also noticed the same agitated and fidgety nature even while she is sleeping. She displays signs of self-defence in her sleep through throwing her legs in kicking motions. Based on our observations we have deduced that there is a possibility that she may have been the victim of some sort of abuse before her rescue.

Mary is still quite unsettled and we are tentatively attempting to gain her trust and get her to feel safe enough to confide in us her story. This is a continuous process and we are providing emotional support through counselling and creating an environment where she feels secure and cared for. We will gain more clarity on the details of her early life as she continues to improve in our care.

Gladys Sananka

Gladys is a 10 year old girl that we managed to rescue successfully through the assistance of a Good Samaritan helper in her town. Gladys’ mother fled with her in search of refuge from her husband after struggling to shield her daughter from the horrors of FGM and trappings of forced marriage. Her father displayed great animosity towards her mother because she had accepted the Christian way of life and attended church regularly every Sunday. Gladys’ mother was the only woman in the entire village who had accepted Christ as her Saviour and as a result faced a lot of condemnation and was shunned by her extended family.  Her husband was enraged by the attempts of his wife to introduce Christianity into his home and community at large.

With the intention to hurt and humiliate his wife, Gladys’ father wed two other women and gave them the authority to belittle and disrespect her even though she was the first wife. It became increasingly difficult for her to maintain her Christian faith in the midst of the persecution she was facing as a result of living amongst unbelievers.

After some time, Gladys’ mother together with all her children was cast away by her husband and had no choice but to return to her parents’ home. Her new life as a single mother was full of challenges because her parents were too old and poor to provide any support, both financially and otherwise. However, she had ran out of options and had to stay with them regardless of the less-than-ideal living conditions. Sadly, all her children dropped out of school and even spent days without food as it got more difficult to sustain their basic needs and upkeep.

Three months after their expulsion, Gladys’ father reappeared demanding to take Gladys and her elder sister and forcibly put them through the FGM practice and subsequently marriage. Their mother put up a strong and admirable fight but unfortunately he got away with Gladys’ elder sister and forced her to undergo the FGM ordeal just to spite and hurt his first wife. Seeking to protect Gladys from having to suffer like her older sister, her mother ran with her remaining daughter to the nearest shopping centre and sought aid from kind strangers. Consequently, word reached out to us and we managed to liberate Gladys from the threat that was hanging over her head. Gladys was understandably in a state of confusion and great emotional trauma over the events that had transpired with her family. Although Gladys is relieved to be safe, the memories of her elder sister and her suffering constantly haunt her. She cannot fathom how her father could have such deep hatred for her and violate her sister by subjecting her to such an invasive and cruel ritual.

Gladys is now faring much better; she is slowly putting on some weight and has exhibited a marked improvement in her health from when we first found her. Her mother is solely taking care of the remaining siblings, 4 boys, as well as her aging mother. She is determined to provide the best care she can to her family despite limited resources. We are still in the dark about Gladys’ elder sister’s whereabouts as no one knows where she was taken after the FGM ritual was performed. The children’s office in Narok town is handling the case.

Esther Murguyia

Esther was only fortunate enough to attend school consistently but ended up dropping out after she completed her primary education. Her father who was illiterate did not see the value of educating his daughter and was not particularly concerned with the needs of the girl child. He had already made arrangements to have his daughter marry one of his friends, who was actually about the same age as him. The bride price had been negotiated and agreed upon by the time Esther was preparing to take her final examinations in primary school.

When she was 15 years old, Esther tried her best to stand up to her parents and resist the marriage plans that had already been put in place on her behalf. She fought with her mother every single day imploring her to change her mind about her fate to no avail. Esther tried to convey to her father her great desire to continue on with her studies but he would not even provide her with the time and opportunity with which to express herself. She could not fathom why her father was behaving in such an arrogant manner, refusing to talk to her and listen to her wishes. Her father, who boasted 4 wives and 19 children, was adamant in his refusal to allow her to carry on with her education. His decision to marry off his young daughter was particularly deplorable because the main intention of the forthcoming union was to strengthen the bonds of friendship he had with his childhood friend to whom his daughter had been pledged.

Esther was very determined to resume school and progress with her education. When she was 16 years old, she decided to write to Light of Life detailing her predicament at home after struggling to stand up to her parents and fight for her right to an education. She had heard about Light of Life before and opted to take a chance and give us a shot. Fortunately, we were successful in rescuing her, managing to do so just a day before her impending marriage. The rescue process proved to be very difficult and challenging, prompting us to reach out to the media to intervene, specifically Nation and Standard newspapers, and in the end we prevailed over the resisting forces.

Esther is now currently enrolled in a secondary school located 340 kilometers away from her village. She has settled into her new school and is progressing well with her studies.

Anne Sintoyia

Anne’s story is one of a girl who has gone through so much; from a personal perspective and a family perspective. Anne is only 15-years who started going to school at the age of 9. Her delay in enrolling in formal education was as a result of the deep poverty she was ensnared in which was further fueled by the hostility expressed by her extended family members towards her. When she finally began attending school, she faced challenges settling down due to the fact that she was several years older than all of her classmates. Social interactions with her classmates were problematic to Anne and as a result she much preferred to play and socialize with the girls in more senior classes. Anne faced constant ridicule from the other students because of the conspicuous age and height difference. Despite all these difficulties, Anne took it all in stride and was determined not to jeopardise her education, choosing instead to put her concentration and focus in her studies. As a result, she began to excel in her academics, becoming one of the top performers in her class and the apple of her teachers’ eyes.

When she was 12 years old, Anne faced a terrible tragedy. Her father was murdered by her uncle which was the culmination of a long history of enmity and animosity. Anne’s mother struggled to support her family as a widow and single mother, without having her husband with her to share with the financial burdens. The situation became appalling when Anne’s uncle and her father’s killer appointed himself as the head of their family and began making all the decisions concerning their welfare and upkeep. He constantly threatened their lives and behaved in a controlling and tyrannical manner. Anne’s elder brother, who had previously been enrolled at university as a beneficiary of a Good Samaritan’s kindness and philanthropy, fell prey to his uncle’s negative propaganda and became brainwashed enough to develop deep hatred for his own mother and fellow siblings. Anne’s mother was heartbroken by her son’s drastic shift in behaviour as he was their last hope for liberation from their cruel uncle. He then decided to Anne’s twin sister who is dumb when she was 6 years old! Thankfully the neighbors intercepted and halted the attempt at violating the young girl. However, not long after, he tried to make a similar move on Anne. This was the last straw for Anne and she decided to seek assistance for herself and her twin sister from her pastor. She confided her troubles to the pastor who then proceeded to contact us. We were able to successfully rescue Anne and her sister. Anne’s mute twin has now been enrolled in a special school for the handicapped.

Due to delayed labor and complications during birth, Anne developed chest problems that went undiagnosed. Anne’s mother did not seek medical assistance and instead hoped that these problems would resolve themselves with time, which unfortunately did not turn out to be the case. The difficulties during childbirth were also responsible for rendering her twin sister mute. After the twins were born, their uncle wanted to have them killed as he viewed twins as a bad omen as per the cultural beliefs. According to the Maasai traditions, the practice was to get 10 bulls wild and drunk on the local brew and have them trample the twin babies to death. Fortunately, Anne and her twin sister’s lives were spared because their mother cleverly hid them at the pastor’s house to ensure their safety.

Their mother is very proud of her daughters and is hopeful that they will overcome the negative experiences from their past and have better futures. She particularly looks to Anne as a pillar of hope for her siblings as well as source of support for the family. Anne’s aspiration is to become a doctor and based on her current performance at school, we have no doubt that she is on the right track to fulfilling her dreams.

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