Story of Joy: A 12-year old girl rescued by Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative in Kenya
We are celebrating the recent news that Sudan has now banned female genital mutilation (FGM). This is a great victory that will no doubt save the lives of many girls. But as we know from experience, law is just one step in a long process to end FGM, a harmful practice that affects hundreds of millions of girls and women around the world. From decades of front line work, our partners in Kenya, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Gambia, know how to stop FGM. They are all making progress, but they need your support.
I am writing to share a heartwarming story from our Kenyan partner Agnes Pareiyo who runs the Tasaru Rescue Center for girls escaping FGM, child marriage and violence. In February 2020, Agnes was contacted by the Kenyan law enforcement about a twelve-year old Tanzanian girl with disabilities named Joy who was unable to walk. Joy’s father brought her into Kenya to earn money by forcing her to beg in her wheelchair in public places, she was regularly beaten and violated by him. Once the Kenyan authorities were alerted to the fact that Joy was being abused by her father, they filed a case in court. As Joy had no place to stay the court referred her to Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative (TNI), the shelter started by Agnes almost twenty years ago.
After one and a half months at the TNI rescue center with over 60 other girls, Joy has made friends and is thriving. With encouragement from them she is learning to balance herself, stand and even walk a few feet without support after years of being bound to a wheelchair. Agnes believes it is nutrition, care, and the company of the girls and staff that has made such a remarkable difference in Joy’s life.
Joy is not alone – since its foundation in 2002 Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative has cared for over 2000 girls who have fled from their homes because of FGM or child marriage. Below is a link to a video of Joy, as well as a video of Sylvia. Like Joy, Sylvia came to the shelter as a young girl – when she was 7 years old. She has been there for over 10 years now.
When you support the Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End FGM, 90% of your contribution is re-granted to outstanding front line organizations like Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative, who are saving girls every day and working steadily to end FGM altogether. We hope on this Giving Tuesday you will make a contribution to the Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End FGM.
I hope you are all staying safe.
Joy’s Story: A Miracle Recovery
Sylvia’s Story: I Ran Away from FGM