A Class Five pupil at Oltinka Primary School in Kajiado West can now sigh with relief after walking for 30km to escape early marriage.
The 12-year-old girl was rescued by PCEA Girls Rescue Centre, Kajiado West, after running away from home where her mother wanted to marry her off.
She said she opted to undertake the risky journey from her home at Torosei village to the rescue centre because of her love for education. She said she did not want to end up like her sisters, who were married off at a tender age.
“My sisters, who are all young mothers, could not escape early marriages and I have vowed to break the culture,” she said, adding: “I want to fight poverty and raise money for my younger siblings to go to school.”
She said her father died and their cows, which were their only source of livelihood, perished during last year’s drought.
“My mother had told me she will marry me off to get some property, including cattle, that will enable her to take care of my siblings since we do not have much at home,” she said.
The rescue centre manager Rev Charles Maina (pictured, right)said: “The trend of marrying off young girls and female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kajiado West is worrying because we have rescued 11 girls from December, last year.”
He said rescue efforts are often frustrated when the community resolves to settle such matters traditionally. “The child is left to suffer in silence because traditions do not favour of the victims,” he said.
At the same time, Kajiado North Deputy county commissioner Tom Anjere has asked chiefs to ensure all learners, who completed primary school last year, have joined secondary schools.
He spoke at Enoomatasiani Secondary School, where 100 students benefitted from an Sh3 million bursary kitty from the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (Ngaaf), issued through area Woman Representative Janet Teiya’s office. -KNA