Penina was a 10 year old girl when her parents married her off at the beginning of this year 2017 to a man in the neighboring country Kenya. This for quite a while has become a cross-border trend that is affecting some of the young girls living along the border, where Kenya borders Tanzania in the North.
She had seen her older sister given to an old man and later died due to pregnancy complication. Has is a life that is uncertain. She did not know how to cook. Many times when I saw her in a company of other young girls her age playing while looking after their parents few goats, I could see clearly in her a child whose life had been compromised.
One day I decided to walk to her parent’s home. I arrived to find her younger sister putting on a fire for the mother to start cooking. I had thought it best to convince them to let her be a child and let her go back to school where she had dropped from class two. We sat and I started explaining to the mother about it. It was then that I learned that dowry had already been paid and was about to be given away. The date had not been set and was therefore had to keep track of her moving away soon. I called and alerted a government official in-charge of the area and came to make a follow- up of the same.
When the official arrived, she had already been given out. She was nowhere near. I started asking for her whereabouts. It was then that I came to learn that she had been married off. I started working out to protect the last of the girls in the family who was now 8 years old. As I sort to know whether she had been booked for marriage as this was normal in this particular community. To my surprise she has although she has not been married off but soon there is no question about it. To add onto this her father died early this year and the plans had already been laid. This means when she undergoes FGM then it becomes a ticket to her marriage.
Penina became pregnant; she had never seen her first menstruation. When I asked her mother why they decided to give her out that early she said, she was ready for marriage. It’s when I asked her why she thought her daughter was ready for it and other questions triggered my asking whether her daughter had gone through the menstruation period and she responded that many girls her age have not had their menstruation instead they just conceive. This conversation explained how much these children get into early sex with their husbands and miss out to experience anything like their first menstruation period. This means ovulation takes place without them ever having their first and knowing anything like it.
What I want to do, is to educate and reach out to the larger community especially parents on the same through a Local Community Radio (awareness creation) lessons and also construct a Girls Rescue Center to protect girls and help them complete school
How to Get Involved
- Donate towards the construction of a Girls Rescue Center