In our world today, the less privileged get the toughest beatings from life. The innocent suffer the most. Those who are good get the break the hardest rocks. At some point in time, we all may face one or two challenges that could change our life, either for good or just a small bit of it. This is different for the children of Larachi. On 8th of May this year, I visited Larachi for recruitment of girls into our program. I work with LMS (Livestock Markets Systems of Kenya), particularly for the GIRL Model. We needed to forms group of girls of ten to nineteen years old for a nine-month training. On my why there, I kept getting astonished. It had rained the night before our visit but the grass was still dry. This place was so distinct. There was grass. Lots of them. Dry! Patched! The land was crying for attention. For some animals to come graze there. Unlike other places around there where the all the grass has been eaten up by the animals and it was awaiting the rains to bring life to mother earth again.
We were three of us in the car so I first didn't ask anything about this. I kept it to myself and turned it over and over in my heart trying to figure out why there was this difference. As we cruised through the rocks, I saw blue iron sheets ahead of us. I was happy there was finally life ahead of us. At least I expected to see people there. We get there and then boom. Empty school. Empty class rooms with no door. Graves in the school compound. Dry grass. No single life there. Silence and cold. Only classes with bullet marks. I was so devastated. And this time, I knew if I kept it in my head, it would kill me. I asked one of us who knew about the place first about the dry grass and she clued me about how insecure the place used to be. She told me that things got really bad at some point and for this reason, no community in the village, grazed their animals there. Animals would rather starve than graze along the rivers with all the grass. She went on to tell me about the school.
The school in Larachi Village had been closed down due to insecurities in the area. That's the reason there was no one living around there. I asked her what happened to the kids who used to go there. I was informed that most of the boys were taken to a boarding school in Gataab. (Gataab is on Mt.Kulal to the east of Larachi). And for the girls, those who are lucky went to the boarding school as well but the few unlucky ones were married off from as young as 14 years. My heart sunk. What would I have done for them anyway? It was already late. At least for those married because they already have young families to take care of. Animals and husband to attend to. I was so confused. "And whose graves are those?", I asked. She told me they belonged to a man and a woman who were killed in that same spot and so they were buried there without considering it as a school compound. This was true. Like, in my opinion. For one, they are innocent, they didn't understand this, two and the worst of the two, they were hopeless. The school will never be school. Empty rooms. Those were as good as the dry grass in the river bed, the rocks and all other dry pieces of woods there.After driving for about forty kilometers, we got to a tank. A cemented tank that was possibly being used by the people who have been pushed up the hills by the constant tribal clashes. The girls that I had come to recruit in our program have gathered there. Around twenty-one women. Among them were Nasasi Legalgithele who was seven years old, Naitore Lenawamuro and Nakushang Learamo who were both eight and Naidelewa Legalgithele who was nine. I was so quick to see that the four girls were way below the age bracket I had come for. I said nothing. I was in shock. So I was no longer staying quiet about it. They wanted me to include them in the group. But how then? These kids should be going to school. This slapped me back. Which school Gumato? Where is the school? I was hurting. I asked the guy who was mobilizing the girls for us why we have those kids in our group, and you reading this story, yes you. You are not ready for what I was told. These four kids, already have been booked and will soon be married off. In less than five years. I told you my heart had sunk, right? Okay, well, it kept sinking, deeper. One, for the fact that there was no school nearby. Two for the fact that they already have suitors. What is life though? They understood nothing about all these. I thought about it over and over in my head. What if they get married and get some implications during child delivery and leave our world? What if something just happens to them? We live in good houses. Good and safe town. Here are these angels getting blows from life. Big blows. I finished with the rest of the girl, took pictures with the four kids and off I went. Ever since, they ring in my mind every single day. I wonder what could be happening to them. I wonder if they are still safe. What will happen to them? I met the dads of one of them and asked him why they need to get married off soon. He told, "mschana yangu hakuna pesa. Kama sio pesa, sisi napeleka hawa shule", he responded. I got a little bit of hope. Maybe I should share this experience with someone else. No, maybe with everyone else who I can reach. So I woke up and did this story today. Our world is big. There's money in it and there are these babies who need to be in boarding schools like the rest. And it's possible. I see them come back as nurses, teachers and doctors to take care of their community.