Giving shelter to girls in danger and running campaigns for child health
Our relief project provides support to girls who refuse to be circumcised or married without their consent. We protect these girls. We talk to their parents. We try to find a solution for the children, working closely with the civil society in Kilgoris, the local congregation of the African Inland Church, and the local authorities.
If a girl does not want to be circumcised, she can ask Tareto Maa for help. The pastor and other team members will try to convince the parents not to have the girl cut, but rather send her to school. But in some cases a family refuses and casts out their daughter. Tareto Maa has set up a rescue center for these children in need. If no mutual solution within the family can be found, Tareto Maa registers the girl at the local police station (the police help to protect her), and admits her to the rescue center. Tareto Maa takes care of the costs for food, clothes, and education. Furthermore we shelter orphans from the local community, and provide a new home to them.
Due to the help of many supporters from the community but also from a lot of countries worldwide, we were able to build houses for the rescue center, and complete it with a water supply, two solar modules, a security fence, and a bridge. At present, we are sheltering 122 girls in the Tareto Maa Center.
The group’s campaigning focuses on the region where Tareto Maa is seated: Osupuko, Kilgoris and the surrounding area. We inform the public about child rights, child health and general issues of sexual and reproductive health. Members of the group go into schools as well as into community assemblies, and explain the injuries resulting from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and the importance of school education for girls. They distribute information brochures (written in Swahili), and offer personal talks to inform about health and HIV/AIDS.
Naitawang Riverside Academy
Together with the local community we founded a primary school which opened in January 2012. The name of the new school is Naitawang Riverside Academy. The word “Naitawang“ comes from the Maasai language and means: “Light of the community“.
The idea of the school is to strengthen education in Kilgoris and to reduce expenses for Tareto Maa. Instead of sending the girls of Tareto Maa to public schools, which are quite far away and involve fees, the private school offers a better and “free” education to the Tareto Maa girls, charging tuition for the other children sent there by their families.
Plans and hopes for the future
What happens if the girls from the Tareto Maa Rescue Center graduate in school? What can they do then to make a living? To help the girls in an enduring and sustainable way, Tareto Maa plans to set up a training center, offering courses on computer skills, and office work. Furthermore we want to establish basic medical care for the community. At the moment, the nearest doctor is 4 hours away!
It is a very realistic possibility that FGM in Kilgoris and the surrounding villages can be overcome in a period of three to five years. The team in Kenya already observes that the people are starting to rethink the traditions of circumcision and child marriage. This is due to our work in the community. But it is also due to government bodies which are increasing the pressure to abandon FGM. As soon as we conquer FGM in our area, we want to join forces to overcome it as well in other villages in Transmara, and the Kenyan Rift Valley.
For our work of sheltering the girls in the rescue center, providing community services, and expanding our campaigns for child health, we need your help. Please take action and support us.
Millennium Development Goals
We are committed to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG), and with our work particularly support the goals
- to achieve universal primary education (MDG 2)
- to promote gender equality and to empower women (MDG 3)
- to reduce child mortality (MDG 4)
- and to combat HIV/AIDS, and other diseases (MDG 6)