Sunday, April 29, 2007

Safe from Abuse

This is Heather and friends at school.

Look at all those sweet faces!

Heather has not been in school for very many years but during that time I have always taken her safety completely for granted. I have never worried that teachers at her schools would prey on her.

Yesterday as our family watched the documentary Dear Francis I was reminded that this is not the case for African school girls. Across Africa, the rape of even very young school girls by their teachers is extremely prevalent... horrifically common.

I remember a situation in our very remote location in Kenya where a young school girl was refusing to return to school. She was being told she had to return when the term began again. She was adamant that she did not want to return.

In the end, this young Maasai girl got into the strong pesticide used to keep ticks off her father's herds and drank some. She took her own life rather than return to school.

It was a huge scandal in the community. Byron and I always suspected that she was being raped by a teacher and that is why she would not return.

The fact that she made some noise was very unusual. Most commonly, these students have no voice.

Take a look at Heather and her friends again. What would our communities do if girls like these were regularly in danger of sexual abuse at school?

The continent of Africa and her extreme challenges can threaten to overwhelm and paralyze us. Still, I am convinced that many small people doing their small parts do actually make a difference.


Mama Monk said...

What a heart wrenching story. Wow. Thank you for this reminder to be vigilant as a mother (protector) ,aware of the reality in Africa, and also thankful for safety and freedom from this sort of abuse.

Sue said...

May we who are in more safe situations be ever so grateful each and every new day that His mercies fall so easily to us maybe just because of where we live.
Might we hunger after ways to in turn be powerfully active for those needing a VOICE against evil.

spain dad said...

I had no idea.