While everyone needed and enjoyed their holiday break, school’s back and we couldn’t be happier! Laughing, dancing, sewing machines whirring, kids playing, huge pots of steaming posho… We love our jobs!
Of course, we exist because of the problems teen girls face.
Yesterday, concerned neighbors notified Ronald and the team of the plight of the 15-year-old girl in the photo above. (We’ll call her Rachel.)
Rachel is a true orphan (meaning both parents are dead) who is under the guardianship of an auntie. The auntie sent her from the village to work as a maid in a house, where she was supposed to be paid 10,000 shillings a MONTH. (That’s $2.69 at the exchange rate while I’m typing this.) However, she has never been paid anything. She was being abused. Many times she was denied food. And last night the woman she works for kicked her out.
For now, she’s safe with us in the dorm. Today we are notifying the LC (Local Community leader) and trying to find her auntie in the village. The LC may get the police involved, but — let’s be honest — it’s doubtful that the police will do anything.
Because teen girls are the lowest in the culture.
We have a second case, identified by one of our teachers, of a 17-year-old girl who is being forced into sex work by her guardian who lost his job. Teacher Linda is working with the authorities for now, but if we need to bring her into the program as an emergency admission, we will.
This is what we do thanks to YOU.
It’s very easy to look at the world and see so much need that we feel paralyzed and numb. There’s no way that we, by ourselves, can fix it, so we try not to look.
But together, we CAN make a difference, each and every day, for girls like Rachel and the others in our program. That starts the slow process of culture change, and small culture changes ripple out to create a better life for teen girls in the slum and beyond.
Thank you for your support and encouragement – you make it all possible!
PS Thank you for your donations to the mosquito net project for Wells of Hope after our last newsletter! The project is 54% funded and we just need $220 to get the first 100 mosquito nets to these impoverished children. If you want to contribute even one net ($4!) that would help us so much! Just click below!