Girl Child Network Worldwide received US$256.00 from this project and the funding though small as it may appear was timely. We had just received a phone call from a single mother who left for neighbouring South Africa and she pleaded with us to send a team that would rescue her daughter who had been taken into marriage by a 63 year old man in the rural areas of Chihota.
Our team disurbed the funds to the rescue team to ensure they had enough fuel for transport and that there are enough counselors to negotiate the release of the girl from the man. It took two days of search to get the community to point out to the exact hidden location where the girl was. Meanwhile her widowed mother kept pleading with our organisation to do something. On the final day the team located the girl they found out she was pregnant and showed signs of illness. They reported to the police and were given a medical affidavit to take to the hospital. After a week, the girl was confirmed to be pregnant and the pregnancy could not be terminated since she was over four months.
However in such situations we find that if a girl is conditioned to the abuse and the abuser has taken control of her, it is hard to transform the girl and it takes intensive counseling by some experts. The good part is that the man was arrested for having sex with a minor and he has already appeared in court. The girl is getting some support from Girls Empowerment Village in Chihota. The girl is slowly being rehablitated in Girls Empowerment clbs at neighbouring schools.
Daily we are receiving related cases of girls forced to marry because of poverty. Community leaders take advantage of them. In this report we wish to say even though we assisted one girl with pyschosocial support, there are many in similar circumstances who need immediate physical rescue. What has never worked is a situation where we send word for her to be rescued without being physically there.
This an invitation to anyone who wants to volunteer or offer some long term support to girls like her. She was a brilliant girl with a future like her but she lost it all. We will keep supporting her and her baby until we are sure what course she wants to take in life. We will also keep ensouraging her to do some project in order to help the child. During the time we rescued this young girl, we learnt of many other similar cases in the same area and the rescue team made efforts to support the girls come out of such situations.
There are many cases of child rape needing immediate action and support and please feel welcome to join us.
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South End On Sea,
Stanford Le Hope,