| Oct 16, 2016
KADOGO isn't married- thanks to you
Bought for 2 cows!
How old do you think this child, Kadogo is? And what about the man in the picture?
What did you guess? Well, Kadogo is 12 years old, and the man is about 61. Kadogo's family live in extreme poverty and so when her father received an offer from the man to marry Kadogo after she had been subjected to FGM, her father agreed for a bride price of 4 cows. In fact just 2 were paid. This extreme case of "child marriage" was reported to Rhobi Samwelly, the feisty Director of our Safe House and she and our Safe House Legal Officer, Mr Wambura arranged for the 'couple' to be taken to the Police Station in Mugumu. If you think they look anxious, that's why. The Police Commander arranged for the so-called marriage to be annulled and declared void. It is not known whether Kadogo's father knew that the prospective husband was HIV positive. Fortunately, Kadogo has not been infected.
If Rhobi and Mr Wambura had not intervened, by the age of 17 this young and immature girl might have had maybe 2 or 3 very difficult pregnancies, endangering her life and that of her unborn or new born babies. Kadogo would have had no further education and would have been condemned to life long poverty. She would be likely to be HIV positive and entirely dependent on anti-retroviral drugs, and although these are free in Tanzania, she would have been a long way from a pharmacy.
But now thanks to the Safe House team, which you support financially, Kadogo will be able to go to secondary school or vocational training and her life prospects have been changed dramatically for the better. FGM is bad in itself, but in Tanzania it is so often the first step towards girls being forced into early marriage followed by debilitating multiple pregnancies. Although there's lots of progress in health care In Tanzania, only 46% of mothers give birth with a skilled 'birth attendant' to assist, and obviously these are mostly not in the remote rural areas, like that in which Kadogo and her would-be husband live.
Now that we have raised enough money to complete the Safe House buildings- and thank you Global Givers for your support in that triumphant success- we now need to set up a fund to secure the successful running of the Safe House and Vocational Training Centre (VTC). We must raise standards and improve staffing in the VTC so that all girls leave with a national certificate in the courses they have attended, and so that Rhobi and her team can extend their work in the villages. Really we need to rename our project NO FGM and no Child Marriage! We'll work on that.
Best wishes and thanks to you all from Rhobi and her team, and from me.