Daraja family member Jabiz Raisdana posted a very hard to read, but important article from Aljazeera.net entitled “Rape threat stalks Kenya’s slums” on our Daraja facebook page. This article hits close to home because at Daraja we have numerous girls from the slums-including a handful of girls from Kibera, the area mentioned in the article.
With all the students’ smiling faces and positive attitudes, sometimes it is easy to forget the depths of poverty and lack of basic infrastructure in the places that our students come from. The news piece was a great reminder of why Daraja Academy was established in the first place…
The article talks about how the communal toilets in slums such as Kibera are a target for sexual violence toward women. In some cases, the perpetrator is a family relative. In that case, the article points out, young women find themselves in a tough predicament. ”Do I go and report on my father who is the breadwinner, then what happens to the rest of the family?” In other cases, the perpetrator is the police themselves. The article further concludes that it is hard for many of these sexual violence victims to have their voices heard.
Recently, we interviewed Mercy, Form 2, who is among the Daraja students from Kibera. When asked what surprised her the most about Daraja, she said “Being given everything you need. I just knew I would be sponsored for 4 years but I never knew I’d be given everything to use like soaps, like towels…also the food.”
If you stripped the access to secondary education, healthcare, counseling…Daraja Academy would still be a life-changing escape for many of the students. Basic goods such as safe, sanitary toilets are a luxury and talking with students like Mercy is a reminder of just that.
The point of this blog post is to thank you. Thank you to all of our Daraja family. Although most of you have the basics in life, you are choosing to support people halfway around the world from you who don’t. Because of that, they are living a better life every single day.