Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative (TNI)

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DDA partners with TNI to support women and girls in Kenya.

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Escaping Forced Marriage

Judy* looks dazed and lost. A faint wrinkle creases her otherwise cherubic face. Her face says a lot about what she has endured, especially in the last few weeks and about her optimism about the future.

Most of those who listen to her mumble her story shake their heads and wonder how the fate that almost befell Judy could be tolerated in Kenya today. Judy is nine years old and has never been to school. A few weeks ago, her father married her off to a 40-year-old man. She had no say in the arrangement. Neither did her mother, who reluctantly complied.

The wedding rites were performed according to Maasai custom, wedding photographs were taken and Judy was being frog-marched to her husband’s home to become his fourth wife. But luck was on Judy’s side. A good samaritan alerted The Tasaru coordinator, who acted immediately with the assistance of the local government authorities and freed Judy. The groom escaped, but Judy’s father was tried and jailed for one year. Judy is going to school. She is in form two and performing very well. Her dream is to become a lawyer.

And this is where Donor Direct Action comes in.

* (not her real name)

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