Protect Kenyan Girls from Violence

The front page of this New York Times is a horrifying reminder of why Lucy Mulenkei is so worried about her schoolgirls.

When I opened up the paper, my heart dropped to see the picture of the injured baby girl. It’s so hard to take in. But it says so much about who suffers most in this crisis and who carries the burden of caring for the most vulnerable, namely women. 

Kenya’s election is approaching rapidly. Already, as the article shows, people are being killed—targeted for their ethnicity and political allegiance.

Together with MADRE, Lucy runs a network of boarding schools in Kenya that educate and shelter rural girls. She is haunted by the wave of violence that swept the country in the 2007-08 election season.

The numbers give you a glimpse of the devastation five years ago: 1,000 people were killed and 650,000 were forced to flee their homes. Women and girls reported 3,500 acts of sexual violence to the police. In fact, we know that rape was systematically used as a weapon during those terrible days.

We acted quickly in 2007, helping Lucy to keep the girls’ school in Kilgoris open during that emergency, so the girls would not need to travel home through the dangers of the countryside.

Now Lucy’s 60 schoolgirls may again need emergency shelter. “Violence is already erupting. We have to do everything we can to keep our girls safe,” she wrote to me last week.  “We hope we can count on your support again.”

Combating rape and empowering girls are goals central to our work—in Kenya, in Haiti, in Iraq and in so many places around the world. I know you share our commitment.

Your gift today will enable Lucy and her dedicated staff to prepare a vital safe haven for girls. We will arrange for three months of staff, food stockpiles, and security guards.
  • $50 will cover fuel and power costs for one shelter for one month
  • $100 will pay for one security guard for one month
  • $150 will help cover one shelter’s food for one week
 
Thank you for standing up for girls’ safety. 
 
Yifat Susskind
MADRE Executive Director

For more information