Now, during COVID-19, help is needed desperately

3 June 2020

Last month we wrote an article about the worldwide increase of child marriages because of COVID-19. Fortunately we can say that all our 143 students (87 girls, 56 boys) are safe up to now. Our local partners in Amudat and Kaabong regularly visit the children and youngster and keep in touch with parents and care takers.

Regrettably we notice that this is not the case for everyone. Recently we received shocking news from our local partner KAPDA in Kaabong. A young girl was kidnapped by three men and taken to the house of the man who wanted to marry her. The girl was raped that night. After that she managed to escape. The next morning the community discovered that the girl had ended her own life. She was in the fourth grade of the primary school and had a life ahead of her.

This week we received a request from our local partner HFC in Amudat. Through the police they came in touch with a 13 year old girl. The girl had lost her father at a young age. When her mother was on her own, she couldn’t manage to pay tuition for her children. Her eldest daughter was forced to marry at age 14. Cheptoo was in grade 6 of the primary school when the COVID-19 crisis commenced. The schools were closed and all students have been at home for 2 months in insecurity. When a 65 year old man offered Cheptoo’s mother a big dowry, she accepted the offer. Cheptoo managed to escape and went to the police. Meanwhile her mother has fled to Kenya. The young girl would like to finish her education and dreams about being a lawyer and protect children’s rights.

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, poverty and insecurity have strongly increased. Girls and young women are now extra vulnerable. In these difficult times, help for these vulnerable girls is needed more than ever.

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