Wednesday last week, around 2pm Sam and I had the privilege of visiting Crown of Life School. Grace (the lady in the photo), attended our training in September 2012. We decided to visit her and see how she was doing following the training….
Grace has made a huge impact. After the training she trained her fellow teachers on the signs of abuse and the importance of looking at the child holistically, not just academically.
The sun was hot, very hot and we moved to sit in the shade near the wall of the school. Grass high, maize growing nearby and chickens at our feet, we sat listening to teacher Israel as he described noticing Ruth in his class. She was sleeping in lessons, appeared inactive and her behaviour had changed. Thinking she was unwell, Israel took her to the clinic. It was at the clinic , Ruth disclosed that she was being sexually abused by a man in her community. She was sick, very sick and pregnant. Ruth was 13 years old. She was admitted to hospital where she stayed for a week to recover. Israel visited Ruth’s mother to inform her of the abuse that had been going on for five months. She was shocked.
Ruth’s mum Martha then joined us. We sat and heard her story of courage and bravery. Standing up for her daughter despite the fear of what others might say and think. Despite living in material poverty and being harrassed by the abuser, Martha chose to not accept any money offered by the perpetrator to settle this hideous offence. Instead she decided to stand in faith and has worked tirelessly with the school and police to bring this man to justice. They are still awaiting the judgement decision. Sadly very few cases are taken to court and prosecution is rare due to lack of evidence and sometimes case files going missing!
But the most amazing thing is that together these people are saying, “no more”. They are fighting this vice in their communities. With knowledge and a whole lot of guts, they are speaking out and defending those hurting children and by doing so encouraging others around them to do the same.
We are priviledged to play a small part and thank you for joining us as we move forward to fight child abuse in this wonderful country.
If you get a moment this week, please pray or lift up your thoughts for Ruth. That justice will prevail.