Dominique is among the 14 rescued girls in the newly started secondary school.
“I was only eleven years old when my father wanted me to be married to an old man,” Dominique said. “I was beaten by my parents to undergo FGM (female genital mutilation) so that the old man can marry me.”
Dominique comes from a town about 25 miles away from Murpus Rescue center where Pokot culture is still alive and is the order of the day. Young girls are married off after undergoing FGM and the illiteracy rate in the area is still very high. Most of the community members do not see the need or value of education.
Plans were in place for Dominique to be married to a man as his fourth wife. Dominique sought help from many people but found not assistance. Many girls of her age had undergone FGM and some were already married. With her father getting ever more angry, Dominique decided to run away from home.
She said: “I was hearing that World Vision was in Chepareria and could offer assistance to girls like me; I had no fare to board a vehicle, so I decided to walk. I took three days on the way without food or water. I slept under a tree during the night. I passed so many wild animals on the way but God protected me until I reached Murpus in the evening. I was exhausted, hungry and tired.
“I met a girl carrying water that evening, she saw me and was humbled to talk to me, and she gave me water which quenched my thirst. The young girl asked where I was from and where I was going. She told me about Morpus Rescue Center and how they have been partnering with World Vision. She offered to take me to the head teacher Mr. James Lokuk. I have never seen a good person like him; he understood my problem and gave me hope.”
Dominique joined grade five in 2006, and now she is in Form 1 (equivalent of grade nine). She did well in grade eight national exams and was offered a spot in the new St. Elizabeth Secondary School.
“When I was a young girl, I never knew how sweet life was with education,” Dominique said. “Many of my age mates back at home do not have the privilege of getting education to improve their livelihood. Many of my age mates are now mothers with three to four children. When I was in my eight grade, I never knew that I will join high school. I always thought of where to go next because I knew that back at home nobody would accept me. But now that I am in secondary school, I will complete my studies and hopefully become a respected woman in the community.”
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