Elbisil sub-location, Kajiado County
The contagious smile from Janet Suyianka can tell it all. Janet, 19 years old and a third born in a family of nine has this to say, “I have seen some light at the end of the tunnel”. At the age of 9, Janet was to be married off to a 60 year old man as is commonly practiced by the Masaai. “My parents are peasant farmers, so my dowry was to be a source of income for my family since we did not own any goats or cattle.”
“I could not take that! I had always wanted to go to school and work as a nurse in my community. My parents had already denied all my siblings the opportunity to go to school. Since none of my siblings had ever been enrolled in a school. I had to find a way out.”
Two days to the D-day Janet woke up before dawn and ran for a distance of 4 kilometers to seek help from the government offices at Bissil divisional headquarters, 4 km away. This would mark the turning point of her life. She was immediately admitted in Kajiado School and Rescue Centre, a center that supports runaway girls from FGM and early marriages. Here she found a new home.
“Thanks to ADRA, I can dream again. They have been supporing me with school fees and essential supplies for the last 10 years. I am sitting for my final exams this year and I am looking forward to train to be a nurse. If it was not for the help and support of ADRA Germany, I would be an illiterate and poor mother with more than seven children.”
“I have since reconciled with my parents, and through the intervention of our headteacher, they now have decided they will not marry off any of my siblings but they are all in school.”
My parents apologized for what they had planned and decided to take my small sisters to school with no plans of marrying them off.”
“Although I was privileged to get daily provisions of food, it hurts that my family back at home can only afford to have one meal a day because of the drought. Sometimes they go for days without a single meal. ADRA gave us food enough to last us over a month! What more can I ask for in a family where we have not had any stock of food?”
ADRA Kenya in partnership with ADRA Germany came to the aid of the Bissil community With this emergency food distribution, ADRA intend to target the most vulnerable families and homes that have been identified by the local chiefs, local church and the Tawanga Women group. Janet’s parents have not been spared by the drought.
Learn more about the Bisil Emergency Response Project
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