Mabel and Lillian went to the lovely Special Needs school this morning for an assessment. They were SO well behaved I wondered if we had the wrong the children. These are two hugely traumatised little girls who show their feelings with big behaviors. I have been helping the staff understand that Lillian lives in total fear the whole time, and so needs to be able to keep everyone in her view. We have adjusted a few little things – she now sits at the back and to the side in worship – she can see everyone and so doesn’t keep turning round and hitting out. Janet has discovered that she is better if she has a hoodie on – her brain doesn’t go into melt down with everything it sees in her perioral vision – she is a little calmer.
Both girls (and Mary) really struggle with the schooling and since Esther has attended this new school we have seen a huge improvement for her. So Mabel and Lillian have been accepted to start in September. I only want them there from 9-12 as they need to be part of our therapeutic day – but I am hopeful they will gain a better sense of importance about going out to school as well as receive a more suited education – fingers crossed!
We had an ‘at-home’ day today with lots of meetings – including one with our manager at Rafiki Familia, Ray. He came with his ‘wish list’ for the boys project – and as a result we are carrying out interviews today and tomorrow for 4 new carers – 2 male and 2 female. We will be moving Aunty Jacinta from Rafiki Mwema to Rafiki Familia to be the cook, so one of the carers will come to Rafiki Mwema – and then we will do some intense staff training!
It was a great day with a brief visit from our lovely friend Cindy – just hanging out with the girls, doing some supervision and meetings – pretty chilled really – until this evening!
New from the Mara is that they are all having a brilliant time and have seen lions, cheetah, black rhino (VERY rare in The Mara), hippos, crocodiles, millions of wildebeest and zebras and so much more!
Last night we began a group for some of our older girls and it was around sex education – you might remember that they talked about their stories and it was pretty full on – to say the least. Tonight I called the group back together with the plan to check in how they were feeling, and discuss this being a regular time together. I wanted it to be a ‘lighter’ experience than last night. We had a check in and it became apparent, of course, the huge impact the group had on them. Some had had terrifying dreams – hundreds of men in a circle around them while they slept, and someone removing their clothes while the others watched was just one dream.
As we set out group rules around listening, respect and keeping what was said in the room, questions were asked about going home. This is a huge fear to the girls and it became apparent why. Our girls are here because they have all been raped and in some cases the men are arrested and in prison. However, it seems that ALL of our group have been raped multiple times and have never said, or no-one has listened to them. They have told but it has been ignored. Our girls have full names of men who are in society, possibly repeating their heinous crimes with other small girls and boys. Their fear is huge that they will be shot (one is the brother of a policeman) beaten or raped when they return. Our girls are babies and shouldn’t even know about these things, yet alone worry about going back to their home.
After the group they started to tell about other men, so I have arranged to see them all alone today to get the details and have these monsters arrested – shocking and sickening. No wonder our baby girls are so scared – and how brave of them to speak out. Sickened and yet proud; broken and yet hopeful; I wish I had a tenth of the bravery of just one of our girls – they are amazing. I have promised to keep them safe – I will make sure I deliver that to them.