Project: Safe House
We are partnered with a Kenya missionary friend of ours, Rev. Teresa June Estes to build a safe house in Suswa, Kenya. As of Spring 2018, we have begun construction of the project.
This safe house will be for young Kenyan girls who face the difficulties of a lack of access to education, the horrors of female genital mutilation (FGM), and the slavery of childhood marriage. It is our mission to come alongside Teresa as she rescues these young girls through her Desert Rose Girls Rescue project. We want to give them the opportunity of a better life, and the chance to grow up and flourish in a loving and safe environment.
What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?
Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, is partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, for non-medical reasons (World Health Organization 2014). FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. This horrific practice is carried out on adolescent girls ranging from birth to fifteen years of age. In the many tribes, FGM is a long-held cultural practice performed on young girls before they are married. FGM victims suffer detrimental medical and psychological trauma as a consequence of the procedure. Almost all victims suffer from infection, pain, bleeding, long-term health complications, and in some cases, death. The procedure is preformed with unsterilized knives, razor blades and pieces of glass, which results in the spread of HIV (Medical Complications of Female Genital Mutilation. Journal of American College of Health)
In many parts of Kenya, girls are typically sold into marriage to older men against their will. Often, parents arrange these marriages in exchange for cattle; young girls have no choice in the matter. Polygamy is a common practice; girls as young as 8 become the fifth or sixth wife to men as old as 70. Once married, a girl will no longer attend school. Instead, her days will be spent working for the older wives and her husband. A life of extreme sexual and physical abuse is the stark reality she will face on a daily basis.