A Look at V-Day's Empowering and Exciting Work in Kenya to End FGM and Early Childhood Marriage
Across the globe, in some of the most underserved areas, V-Day partners with local activists to transform the lives of girls and women at risk of violence through safe houses - community centers where survivors can develop their innate leadership, be safe, heal, and learn. Since 2001, V-Day has worked with V-Day Kenya Director Agnes Pareyio to establish, build and operate V-Day safe houses in Narok (V-Day Tasaru Ntomonok Rescue Center) and Sakutiek, providing shelter, education, and alternative rite of passage ceremonies to over 100 girls annually who are fleeing FGM.
WATCH: Take A Peak Inside V-Day's Work in Kenya
In August 2009, V-Day staff and Board members visited the Narok Tasaru Ntomonok and Sakutiek safe houses in Kenya. During the visit with Agnes and her staff, our team witnessed an incredible reconciliation between a rescued girl and her family, and also had the opportunity to meet with community stakeholders who attested to the community-wide positive impact that the safe houses have, as well as to the economic incentive that many families have for cutting their girls. Agnes' sensitization work with parents and village elders has helped families to see that educating a girl will have far greater economic benefit for the family than cutting her so that she can be married off for a bride price.
READ: A Day in the Life of Agnes Pareyio by Kim Rosen
V-Day Activist and poet and author Kim Rosen recounts a day in the life of V-Day Kenya Director Agnes Pareyio:
It's 7:30 am at the V-Day Safe House in Narok, Kenya, and the morning symphony has begun. I am awakened by the sound of Mama Helen singing as she returns from the farm down the street with a large jug of fresh milk, which hangs on her back in a piece of colorful fabric tied across her forehead. Mama Helen is the matron of the center, and cares for the 50 or so girls who live there. Outside my door a girl hums Swahili gospel as she sweeps the walkway, bending low to make the most of the three-foot long bundle of reeds that is her broom. Other girls call to one another across the lawn as they amble between the dormitory and the dining hall, brushing their teeth in the sun, or carrying plastic tubs of water for bathing.