Migori county has been on our screens in Kenya recently not for very good reasons. The big issue being Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)! Yes, this has been the elephant in the room! Girls as young as nine years are intricated into this retrogressive cultural practice and eventually get married young and bear children like themselves. Innocence gone! Dignity gone! School gone!
It takes courage to voice out in a culture that does not give school going girls a platform to choose their way of life. They have no voice and even if they tried, it is ebbed away into the hostile environment. The mothers and the grand mothers have done it before, why would their daughters not do it? Cycles continue!
How can a practice so engrained in the heart of Kuria community be eradicated? Does God have something to say about such a vice?
The girls were born into this culture, where levels of poverty push children and youths into sexual relations to curb hard economy including purchasing books, sanitary towels, and uniform. Some get infected with HIV/AIDs because well, gold miners lure girls with money! In fact, as they review their way of living, they hardly see hope.
According to the ministry of devolution in Kenya Migori County – (devolution.go.ke), approximately 90% of the county’s population live in rural areas with mud walled structures being the most predominant mode of housing.
This is the story of school going children and youth in Nyatike region. How can such a child afford to buy a Bible?
School challenges in Migori County: Kuria and Nyatike regions include
- No interest in education due to high levels of poverty.
- No reading culture.
- Really marginalized homes.
- Hostile environment with deep rooted cultural issues.
Compassion Bible Based Response
We are called for such! Even these are candidates of grace!
They can never know unless they are told! Through the week of 19th to 23rd June 2023, BSK partnered with community members within Migori County and One Hope international to reach the children and youth with hope through God’s Word. The Bibles were distributed to 12, 537 students each receiving a Bible, New Testament, or a portion of the Bible! 29 schools were covered through the five days. Much thanksgiving goes out to our partners who help us get resources to ensure scriptures are in the hands of these unreached audiences!
The Church: PEFA, Marantha Faith Assemblies, SDA and Catholic are the main denominations within Kuria and Nyatike regions and we desire that they will be inspired to have a heart for children. They have been challenged to fight for the rights of children and not to value money over souls. To remember to esteem God’s word so highly over anything else including culture. To remember to set practical examples of people who are living the practical Word and progressing so well that culture has not brainwashed them.
The School- Education for all children is part of the Sustainable Development goals. In fact, the education itself is one greatest vehicle to help the Migori boy and girl child empower themselves towards a sustainable future for their parents and forthcoming generations. We pray that the Bibles Distributed will bring this goal live as they peruse through and engage with God’s Word. That the darkness that so heavily encompasses them will be ousted by the Living Word of God. We foresee an educated child with equal opportunity of studying C.R.E and furthering it because they have Bibles, a knowledgeable in Godly principles because the Bible gives understanding to the simple and a child able to stand for their rights because they will know their identity and purely based on God’s Word!
Mr. John Ogalo is the Principal of Othoch Rakuom Secondary School in Nyatike sub county, Migori County. He has been in the school since its inception in 2015 and has made the school, with a population of 202 leaners a very student friendly environment! He is an epitome of a great role model! The head works closely with parents to build the school and leaners in every way.
The leaners who are not able to pay school fees are never sent away to home because, that might be the end of their education because home is no better. The parents or guardians are asked to pay school fees in kind. What does this mean? Bring food, bricks, firewood, plant trees in school and contribute to law making. This has helped parents feel they own the school and desire their children to be educated more. Godly principles have been inculcated in them through the neighbouring Church. Leaners who are from far home have been built for temporary rooms made of galvanized iron sheets so that that can maximumly utilize their time in school and change their life narrative.
It was a great pleasure to give learners in this school Bibles!
To avail a Bible to a needy child donate through Paybill: 518100 , Account: Marginalized.