Feb 17, 2022. Kevin Ochieng – Ashnil Local News Kisumu Kenya.
Child trafficking and sexual abuse which come in handy with early pregnancy, early marriage and medical related issues had frequently been knocking the doors of many teenager girls in Nyakach sub-county in Kisumu county.
To add salt to the wound, victims of such atrocities got little to no help to cure from the physical and psychological torture they experienced in the hands of the sexual abuse perpetrators.
This is gap that Project Rescue Children (PRC) in partnership with Rooted Teens and Trace Kenya got in to fill and end the vices that are not only against human rights but also shutter the dreams of many girl child.
Established in Kenya in 2019, PRC’s main mission is to put to an end children exploitation especially those coming from humble background.
“Girls are raped/sexually abused in exchange for period pads due to extreme poverty. We are stopping that,” PRC tweeted on its account.
To jumpstart the war against the child abuse, Project Rescue Children first built a rescue centre in South East Nyakach Kadianga. The rescue center currently houses about 25 children who are not only abused but poverty is taking atoll to their dreams as well.
However, each and rising day, the number of kids needing help has been increasing rapidly. This strains the available resources and space. With that, PRC partnered with Jane Rispa Gori who is the founder of Rooted Teens.
Rooted Teen is a program that addresses Child trafficking and exploitation. Popularly known as Mama Jane, Rispa donated a piece of land to the PRC team boosting their effort to erect more buildings that would accommodate more children and resources donated.
“Children of Kenya are our future generations and we must protect them from harm and allow them to live as children. That’s what we do at ‘Ray of Hope’” Mama Jane said.
Besides providing a safe haven for children to live without fear of being abused, PRC also provide food, water and clothes to the children and supporting their education. They also teach them how to make reusable sanitary pads using sewing machine it donated besides provide the same to them.
But it doesn’t end in providing the basic needs. Project Rescue Children has partnered with security authorities like Kowet Police Station to bring to book sex pests who are culpable of predating young girls and sexually abusing them.
“We are happy to announce in a joint operation with Kenyan police, we have apprehended and returned a 24-year-old child rapist who was on the run after raping a 4-year-old girl,” read one of their tweet post.
According to Kisumu Medical Trust (KMET) 11 cases of defilement/rape were recorded in April last year in Nyakach sub-county, with the perpetrators seemingly carrying out the attack in near-rehearsed fashion.
An incident that shook the entire sub-county was when three sisters aged 14,16 and 17 were repeatedly defiled in their grandmother’s house, by one man who held the girls hostage for hours using a knife on end in February.
Nancy Adhiambo Otieno who joined Project Rescue Children in 2018 before it’s establishment in Kenya has been working as a volunteer. She connected PRC with the local chief and police. This, she says, was to ensure paedophiles are brought to book and justice given to the sexual victims.
“Since volunteering with the amazing charity PRC, I’ve learnt we as normal people can truly make a difference to children’s lives” said Nancy.
The major setback to achieving this goal is lack of funding or donation that can help them see every child is fully supported.
Corruption at “all level of police” that deny sex victims to get justice is another challenge.
And this is where Adams Whittington, an Australian, who is the main donor of the initiative also requests support to give hope to the children who really need it.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than to see the joy in kids faces when we rescue them from horrific situations,” Adam says.
He adds: ”The Western world really needs to step up & stop closing its eyes to atrocities happening to kids worldwide. Kenyan kids really need help not with words, but with action on the ground.”