My pantie,my health,my dignity

Wilma
Posted December 25, 2016 from Kenya

I have always wondered why young children get defiled by their fathers,their uncles or any other boy or man without mercy.Everytime i see in the news about a child who has been defiled my heart cries and am in so much agony for the child.Though i do not have a child of my own,it kills me to see increasing statistics of rape cases among teenagers and young children.

This year alone in kenya the reported cases reached 6,000 and some went unreported.While the courts are doing their best to mete out the severest sanctions to offenders,families and communities must do more to prevent and end the insecurity being visited on children and women.

While i may not be able to provide security to every child against sexual abuse,i try to provide what i can to reduce these challenges these children are exposed to.

Like everyone else,our children need comfort,need to be clean,healthy and dignified.Raising awareness about undergarments is important.A simple attire it might be but it has never seemed important to many people.

Many children in the slums walk naked with only a t-shirt making it look like it's normal but the truth is that they are at risk of being defiled or at greater risk of contracting deseases.

During my childhood,my mother never wanted us to play outside without wearing skin tights.She also ensured we were playing with girls near our home so she can watch over us.It used to make me uneasy every time i turned around only to see my mothers eyes glued to where we were playing and one day i asked her why she did what she was doing and she took us to hospital and showed us children who were sick in bed after being defiled.

I was so bothered by what i had seen and took a bold step to help the small children.

I asked my mum to help me start my panty project.I hoped to support 20 boys and girls from my neighborhood whose parents could not afford to buy them undergarments.These children would play outside with boys and because no one was watching them,they would be abused by drunkards,idle young men as well as their fathers.

In one instance,as i was coming from church i heard some small children playing in their compound and it seemed there was no old person and so i entered to greet te children and to find out if they would be my first enficiaries,but to my disbelief,i saw one of the girls father drank and was busy peeping at the naked girl while she was not aware.

Her father was asking her to pull her dress up so he can see what God had given her.In her innocense ,the girl did as her father asked but because he was too drank to do anything,the girl was safe at that moment otherwise,she would have been defiled by her own father.

This motivated me to implement my project of creating awareness in church and in my village.My mother bought me a material which i used to make hair bands for sale to purchase more undergarments for my first beneficiaries.She also bought me beads to make necklaces.I gave my mum some to sell to her workmates and friends,my aunt and my grand mother.I took the remaining to the market and managed to sell all of it.

I used to returns to buy dozen undergarments for both boys and girls.When i was distributing,i talked to their prents about my initiative and asked them to help me keep the children safe through watching over them.My project bore fruit when there was reduction of defilement cases in the area and increased vigilance on the safety of kids.

I did not stop there but managed to speak to one of the nearest school to let me know the number of children who came to school without panties and managed to support them through our hairband project with my sister.

My joy is that we have managed to help sensitize the importance of undergarments to small children,teenagers as well as adults.

Consider a boy playing in the field with only a short pant without underwear.If he happens to fal down and the pant tears in the middle,his body will be exposed and he will lose his self esteem same for the girl if she fell down and her dress pulls up,she will be embarrassed.

We cannot underestimate the power of an undergarment and i hope thelp make a public policy one day that will ensure free distribution of undergarments to small children and teenagers in kenya and around the world.

Teaching children about their safety,their health and dignity while empowering them helps them understand the importance of taking responsibility of their lives and they will grow up knowing how to protecting themselves with simple but valuable garments

Lets fight sexual abuse among small children the best way we know.

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Dec 26, 2016
Dec 26, 2016

Hi Wilma,

Welcome to World Pulse:) Thanks for sharing your important story. I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you about the work you are doing for boys and girls to help them with their health and dignity. It sounds so basic, but also so crucial, at the same time. It's sad that these basic needs aren't met. I'm really glad to hear how you are helping the children in your community. Do you have a vision or plan for expanding your work in your community and beyond? I'd love to hear what your intention and plan is.

Wilma
Jan 05, 2017
Jan 05, 2017

Dear jlanghus, 

Thank you once again for your encouraging words. 

It's really true that some things are taken for granted like panties. 

At the moment, am not able to expand my work because am still in school and lack adequate financial support to meet the needs of the youth in my village but might be able to reduce poverty and iliteracy levels in my community as well as rape cases and child abuse if I get support. 

Wilma 

Jill Langhus
Jan 05, 2017
Jan 05, 2017

Hi Wilma,

You're welcome:) I'm sure you will get financial support in the future because you are smart, determined and resourceful. Do what you can. You are making a big difference already:) Please do keep us posted on your progress.

LillianVB
Dec 29, 2016
Dec 29, 2016

Hi Wilma, 

It is these kind of actions that build up to spread messages about reproductive health rights and simple gestures like you have made that make all the difference. For those children that you have supported they will forever remember and treasure your kindness. Doing something about a problem in our community is much more fulfilling than whining over it and not taking action. Do you have plans moving this initiative forward? maybe involving more of your church community in sexuality education and awareness. Keep going ...Endelea hivi

Wilma
Jan 04, 2017
Jan 04, 2017

Thanks Lilian for the encouragement. 

It's true we need to solve issues instead of complaining. 

I would love to expand the program but am still in high school and with limited resources. 

If I get wellwishers to help then things will be ok. 

We started working with churches on health matters and things are picking up well

WorldCare
Jan 01, 2017
Jan 01, 2017

Dear Wilma, thank you for telling us about the need for underwear. I had no idea of this problem. You are very smart to start a panty project! It is so elemental and yet so vital. You write very well, and I appreciate that you've shared this with we women out here. I have already shared it with a friend of mine. I wish you all the best in continuing this project. It is one simple way to counteract the rate of rapes. You are a very good person to address this issue. Bless you.

Wilma
Jan 04, 2017
Jan 04, 2017

Dear love care, 

Thank you for sharing my story and my work with your friends. It's been a challenge for our children who without knowledge are exposed to dangerous situations that are within our control. 

Is is possible to contribute to our work through your friends and family. Maybe you can ask them to buy us panties for our small children. 

We will appreciate. 

Wilma 

WorldCare
Jan 05, 2017
Jan 05, 2017

Hello again Wilma, It might be possible for some of us in US to send panties there. Where would we send them? Or is there some general organization in the US where we could send them? Tell me more about this. Is this for boys and girls? What ages or sizes? Thank you

Wilma
Jan 05, 2017
Jan 05, 2017

Dear worldcare, 

Thank you for keeping tabs with me over this pressing issue. 

I do not have a collection point in the US but the collection can be sent to kenya. Let me look for an appropriate address that can be used then u will let you know. Maybe you can can send via DHL. 

Will give you the best address 

With thanks 

Wilma 

WorldCare
Jan 06, 2017
Jan 06, 2017

Hello Wilma, thank you for responding so quickly. I hope there is a way for me to collect children's panties for your community. I have also asked World Pulse about the propriety of this. We will talk again later. Thank you.