Support Trafficked & Abused girls in Kenya

by Centre for Domestic Training and Development

Here at GlobalGiving, we promise to be transparent with our donor community and maintain the high quality of projects on our site. In keeping with that promise, I have some news to share with you today about an organization you’ve supported on GlobalGiving.

We were recently alerted to a sexual abuse incident at CDTD as well as concerns about the way constituent needs are managed at the organization. The following statement is from CDTD Founder & CEO Edith Murogo on the situation that occurred and in no way reflects the views or opinions of GlobalGiving:

“I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support that you have accorded the Centre for Domestic Training and Development(CDTD) which runs the Talia Agler Girls Shelter (TAGS) in Nairobi Kenya.  The shelter exists in memory of the late Talia Agler – who interned with CDTD in 2006 and who remains the most outstanding intern of all time due to her love and dedication to the work of CDTD.  For the past 5 years, we at CDTD have been encouraged and inspired by your kindness and generosity towards a cause that we hold very dear.

Unfortunately, in August last year, one of the girls in our shelter program reported that she was defiled (raped) by the night guard who works for the security company contracted to provide security at the shelter.  In terms of capacity, CDTD has a 24 hour security service complete with day and night guards and an electric fence.  The shelter has a capacity of 30 girls and is staffed by a team of 7.

The girl did not speak with anyone and only shared this experience with some girls when she started noticing some changes in her body.  The other children reported the incident to the staff on duty who then notified CDTD’s director immediately.  We reported this case to the nearest police station and the culprit was arrested within 24 hours.  He was presented in court and charged with the offence of defilement and the matter is now before court.

Following this incidence, in the spirit of partnership CDTD contacted all its shelter partners in Nairobi and notified them of what had happened and am happy to say that they have been very supportive.We have been very grateful for the support that we have received and the lessons that we continue to learn from this incident which has a lot of implications for our work.”

GlobalGiving has completed an investigation into this case and has decided to remove CDTD from the fundraising platform at this time. GlobalGiving believes that organizations can grow and learn from such experiences and we hope to welcome CDTD back the GlobalGiving community after it addresses these organizational challenges.

We are committed to ensuring that our donors have meaningful experiences on GlobalGiving. We will keep you updated if our decision changes in light of new information that comes to our attention. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about CDTD, your donation, or GlobalGiving’s vetting and investigation processes, please don’t hesitate to contact me personally at smatheny@globalgiving.org.

Thank you,

Starlyn

We are glad you are part of us!
We are glad you are part of us!

The year 2016 is almost over!

Thank you very much for being part of us in the year 2016; it is because of you that we are excited to say it has been a fruitful year at TAGS. Your generous support throughout the year has enabled better lives for our girls. We have had success stories of girls who have been able to get their normal healthy lives back. Next year we shall be bringing you many of these stories!

Among those who have regained their psychosocial health, Grace (not her real name) had this to say as the year closes, “Where I was there was a lot of stress, but now I am happy, relaxed and feeling at home”.  This is the story of many other girls and we are glad to see them smiling from the inside out!  We are glad you have been part of this beautiful story.

As we end the year, we wish to make a special appeal for you to help us meet our targets for 2017.  You can do so by making a recurring donation.  GlobalGiving is matching all new recurring donations at 200% by 31st of December 2016.  Please do not miss this opportunity, i guarantee you that it will mean so much to us.

The girls and staff at TAGS wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous year 2017!

Laurel working with Esther & Boniface (CDTD staff)
Laurel working with Esther & Boniface (CDTD staff)

 

Hi Everyone! My name is Laurel Booth. I have had the pleasure of interning with the Centre for Domestic Training and Development at the Talia Agler Girl’s Shelter for the past four months as part of American University’s Study Abroad Program. I am so grateful to have been able to contribute to the great work being done at TAGS. While interning at TAGS, I have gotten to experience firsthand the love and generosity that the staff have for all the girls at the shelter, and perhaps even more impressive; the strength, resilience and joy of spirit of each of the girls. The TAGS mission to Reach, Rescue, Rehabilitate and Reintegrate, is one that deserves to be spread across the world. By nurturing the potential that exists within each child, TAGS helps to build each girl’s self-confidence and her ability to drive change within her community; as our beloved Ms. Edith (CDTD founder) says “Educate a girl, build a nation!”

The principle project that I have been devoting my time to at TAGS is the commencement of the TAGS case file database. The world is rushing through the digital age, and TAGS is keeping up! We believe it is a huge priority to maintain a working database of all the entrants' case files in order to begin analyzing data patterns and trends behind child abuse and domestic labor in Kenya. The database will also allow access to information and stories that staff can use to keep track and follow up with previous participants in the TAGS program. Finally, it will be a tool to share essential case details amongst the caseworkers, which can help our experts provide necessary services to the girls. These living documents can be updated as the cases progress from admission and history, through the reintegration process.

Working at TAGS has taught me a lot, as I transcribe individual stories I learn more and more about the underlying causes that drive domestic child labor, and the trafficking of minors. Attempts to escape extreme poverty and the chance for education are key pressures that make many children vulnerable to false promises and trafficking. The damage that results is life changing. While TAGS is able to provide important basic services which include: taking care of everyday needs, education, psychological support and reintegration planning – these services are not available to the vast majority of children struggling to survive in dangerous and traumatic situations. The example of the girls at TAGS, the employees who work tirelessly, and the support from donors within Kenya and all over the world, inspire me and make me believe that if we all continue to do our part we can reach the children who are suffering, and begin preventative measures against the victimization of children in the future. 

The CDTD and TAGS mission is to provide sustainable support for the children in our care and the ones to come. I hope you will join us this Giving Tuesday and holiday season by continuing your support for our organization through your generous giving and the spreading of our message. Every small action can help improve a life, whether it is sharing on social media, funding a meal, or the sponsoring of a child. We cannot continue to do the work we love without your help. Wishing you peace and joy in the holiday season, and energy and optimism in the New Year!

-Best,

Laurel.

 

 

 

 

 

Shortly after arriving at Karura forest
Shortly after arriving at Karura forest

We always look forward to end year holidays at TAGS! It is always such an opportune time for our girls to relax after being in school for most part of the year. We bet you love holidays too! This holiday we had our girls together with some of our partners (Lotus Healing Seva Group) have a fun day on the 17th of November 2016  in one of our beautiful forests in Kenya ( Karura forest) located in the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. They had lots of fun bonding with one another through wonderful talks, planting trees, sharing a sumptuous meal and even having a cake to celebrate one partner’s birthday! Their beautiful faces were lit with joy as they headed back home (atTAGS Shelter) in the evening. Mrs. Kamal, the event organizer had this to say, "We loved taking the girls out. They were very well behaved and enjoyed themselves very much!"  One of our girls, Mary (not her real name), had this to say in return, "The day was awesome! Karura forest was a serene environment. We had a great tree planting session, made new friends and had a delicious meal." What a day that had been!

We would not have been able to do this without you! It is because of partners like you we are able to make sure our girls have a wholesome life, just like every girl should. We want to be able to support more girls this coming year and it is with this regard  we are excited to invite you to support us this coming Giving Tuesday which will be held on the 29th of November 2016 on GlobalGiving. This day is important for us because there will be a 50% match on donations made up to the first $1 million raised on GlobalGiving!

In addition to this great matching opportunity, all new recurring donations made from Giving Tuesday through December 31st   2016 will be matched at 200% up to $100, on the forth donation!

We need you to help us raise these funds and therefore we kindly request you to donate to us on Giving Tuesday and spread the word. We will be glad to have you help us in this way!

Thank  you  for  being  a  part  of  us  and  we  wish  you  and  your  loved  ones  a  wonderful  experience  this coming  holiday  season!

Tree planting session!
Tree planting session!
Planting in action!
Planting in action!
A closer look at new life...
A closer look at new life...
Time to eat that cake!
Time to eat that cake!
Smiles everyone!
Smiles everyone!
Our current shelter based in Nairobi, Kenya
Our current shelter based in Nairobi, Kenya

In the year 2001, Centre for Domestic Training and Development (CDTD) was founded to empower domestic workers with homecare management skills and to address the challenges that they faced such as poor payment and discrimination from their employers and the community at large. The programme was successful, assisting many young women who came from underprivileged backgrounds in Kenya. To date the program has advanced to train in numerous vocational skills and has empowered more than 10,000 youths in Kenya (mostly young women) and has advocated widely in Kenya and beyond on the rights of domestic workers and the need to empower disadvantaged youth economically.

In the year 2007, Ms.Edith, the founder of CDTD developed a passion for the girls who were becoming increasingly trafficked and abused in Kenya and its neighbouring countries, yet could hardly find help. Some of these girls would end up as child domestic workers among other child labour jobs. Out of this genuine passion and with the interest of further empowering girls and women, she decided to pitch another project for CDTD that would focus on rescuing trafficked and abused girls and assist in re-integrating them back into the society after tracing their families. This would reduce their chances of re-victimization.

Soon, the program for rescuing girls was started and it was an exciting time for Edith and CDTD staff to be part of making a positive difference in the lives of these abused girls. The girls would be housed at the domestic training centre together with the domestic workers trainees. This seemed a good idea to us since the girls would only be sheltered for a short time. It meant they would share the same compound, the same bedrooms among other things, especially house facilities. The girl rescue program was fast growing since it was the only one in Kenya that could shelter trafficked girls. Soon, CDTD centre had growing number of girls who had been rescued and were waiting to be re-integrated! They had found a home.

At this time of fast growth in the program, challenges started emerging. It started being clear that although the girls would only be there for a short time, keeping them in the same environment where the young women were being trained on homecare management was not conducive for either of the groups. This was because of the state of the rescued girls emotionally, physically and in terms of their age, they were young. On the other hand, the young women were not trained to live with girls who had such special needs and therefore they did not know how to best relate with/handle them at times. The future of a program that we started with very good intentions was now starting to look bleak!

On the other hand, as staff  we were also having a challenging time because we were not professionally prepared to handle these girls. At first we thought we could, encouraging ourselves to be able to care for them because in our lives we handle children, some of us on a daily basis! We however realised that due to the difficult circumstances the girls had gone through and the trauma they still had, they needed to be attended to differently by qualified professionals such as counsellors, care givers and nurses, something we soon felt unqualified for.

Again, since our girls would be sheltered only for a short while, we did not have a structured program in mind for the time the girls would be at the centre. They would do the basics of the day such as cleaning after waking up and taking meals. It was not clear as to what they would engage in on a day to day basis. This caused the girls to be bored in most times and there was not much development in their lives while they waited to be reintegrated. Realising we were not investing much in their lives while they were with us made us feel we needed to do more.

This indeed, as you can already guess was a challenging time for everyone! It was a time of wondering what could be done, what could be a better solution for our girls. We thought about it and with a determined team, we concluded that a separate conducive shelter was necessary for our girls, and along with it qualified staff who are trained to care and develop girls who have been trafficked and abused. Great idea you guess! Now the real journey to look for funds to open a shelter begun. Everyone knew it would not be easy but we were hopeful that we would manage. We believed the words of one wise Gail Devers, “Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, your vision, hard work, determination and dedication. Remember all things are possible to those who believe.”

In our motivated searching and approaching of different partners, Global Fund for Children saw our vision and they were moved by what it would mean for us and most importantly the transformation it would bring to these girls. They gladly supported us to start the shelter, which would later be named Talia Agler Girls Shelter (TAGS).

This was a jubilation moment! Joy truly filled our hearts to see how the project was developing. Partnering with a number of people who loved our work, we were able to start raising funds to run the shelter, though it was a gradual process that required patience and persistence. We were able to hire qualified workers such as a person who could manage the shelter, a counsellor and a caregiver among a few others. Since then, we have gradually built our network of support, especially financial support and GlobalGiving together with its partners have been our greatest supporters this far!

The conducive environment at TAGS has enabled girls to feel at home. They have been having a structured program that works well to develop them in many ways, again without straining them. The program has changed from time to time depending on the state of girls at the shelter for a particular time. They are able to get counselling, continue to learn in the shelter as they wait to be sponsored for education, they are taught soft skills, mentored, involved in socially interactive fun activities among other things under a 4R’s(reach, rescue, rehabilitate, reintegrate) model which we developed! It is such a good thing to see our girls being transformed and being able to regain the pieces of their lives together. A smile on their faces gives us the zeal to continue with this worthy cause, knowing that touching their lives means that the community is being touched and transformed as well.

Through our experience in establishing our shelter we have learned that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step! That the beginning of something is usually challenging, but with persistence, our efforts do bear fruit.

More than 300 girls from Kenya and its neighbouring countries have been transformed by this program (TAGS) and we are looking forward to transform even more lives and rekindle the smiles and dreams of girls who once felt their dreams were shuttered!

 

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Organization Information

Centre for Domestic Training and Development

Location: Nairobi - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​www.cdtd.org
Centre for Domestic Training and Development
Project Leader:
Edith Murogo
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya

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This project is no longer accepting donations.
 

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