We invited some of our programs that deal directly with violence against women to share some stories. The stories show the impact these programs are having fighting violence against women, addressing their root causes, and providing support and a way back for its victims. This is the story of a young Kenyan girl who was spared the traditional female genital mutilation and sent instead to study at the Kakenya Center for Excellence.
Only 15 years old, Nasieku has experienced a great deal of hardship and overcome many obstacles to pursue an education at Kakenya Center for Excellence in Kenya. Now in her first year of high school, Nasieku was born in the village of Sikawa, an hour-long trip from KCE’s location in Enoosaen. She is the second youngest of 5 children, four girls and one boy.
After she was born, Nasieku’s parents divorced. Her mother raised her, her younger sister, and her older brother. Her father raised Nasikeu’s two older sisters. Her mother and father have a hostile relationship, and he is cruel to their family. Since the divorce, her father has effectively disowned Nasieku and the two other siblings who stayed with her mother. These two sisters were forced to undergo female genital mutilation, a Maasai tradition that marks a girl’s passage to womanhood and readiness for marriage. Nasieku and her younger sister, however, will be spared from this practice because their mother wants them to continue with their education.
Since beginning at KCE, Nasieku has blossomed. “I learn about self-esteem, confidence and about FGM…I learn about FGM and the effects… I feel empowered,” she explains. When asked about her relationship with her father, Nasieku starts to cry. She is saddened by the rift in her family and the suffering of her older sisters. She cries, too, when asked about how Kakenya Center for Excellence has impacted her life – but these are tears of joy. She is deeply appreciative and well aware that her mother is not able to support her education. Like all of our students, Nasieku hopes to use her education to better her community and the world.
“Education can help me to learn more things and to help many people in the country,” says Nasieku, who dreams of becoming a policewoman someday so that she can enforce law and order.
Featured Photo: Nasieku dreams of becoming a policewoman so she can improve her community and enforce the law.