Our boy’s dormitory project has taken a whole new direction. An incident that was uncovered a few days ago, reveals an urgent need to pay attention to the boy child. For many years, girls have been the target of sexual violence, perpetrated by men. Today, a new dimension is showing up – boys are becoming targets too, as pornography and other vices slowly creep into our villages. We urgently need shelters for boys who are victims of sexual violence in our country.
Two days ago a group of boys, some as young as 14 years old, were brought to my Centre (the photo above is not of the victims. I got it online to generally depict the pain of our boys). My friend had called me earlier informing me that she is so stressed because she is being asked to shelter these boys but she has no place to keep them. Her space shelters only girls. These boys are victims of sexual violence. The police had just rescued them from a house where they were being sexually molested. They needed a place to take the children, other than the police cell, which was the best option so far. I told her to give me a few minutes to think through the situation. I was in shock.
Imagine in the whole of Meru County (in fact, it may be the whole of Kenya), I have not heard of a rescue shelter for boys. You see, up till now, only girls have been largely the targets of sexual violence by men. Now we are seeing more and more boys being targets of sexual abuse. Adult men are sodomizing young boys after luring them with porn and material things. These primary school level boys all had cell phones given to them by their sexual molester. And now that this is out in the public domain, no one knows what to do. There is no place other than a police cell, to keep these children, although they are not criminals.
The boys are with me, all crammed up in one room. Not at the Home since that is full, but also they need to be kept separate. The room is small, but it is not the smelly cell they described to me, where they slept the first night. They have a bed to sleep on, food to eat, and a safe place to rest while the authorities carry out investigations and work out the details of the case.
My update today is short and sad. It underlines the urgency to complete the boy’s dormitory and the additional space we are creating to shelter boys in need. So, this is an appeal to everyone to please consider supporting this building because when it is completed, boys such as these ones will have a safe place to stay until their case is heard, determined and the perpetrators made to face the full force of the law. Join me, to help wipe tears from the eyes of desperate boys crying for help!