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Neema’s Plight

In an area known as Mile 46 in the Kajiado District of Kenya, the Elangata Wuas Primary School sits beside a grove of trees. On a seemingly ordinary Friday in July, the whole school — boys and girls, teachers and the headmaster — leave their lessons and gather to welcome visitors outside in the schoolyard. The students, dressed in blue uniforms, fill rows of wooden chairs; girls on the left, and boys on the right.

After a warm welcome and a short introduction, the students stand in groups to present short speeches, dances and poems they had prepared for the visitors. A group of girls perform a traditional dance, some students sing a song, and then Ann Wanjiku stands to present an original poem.

Her words are powerful, her cry sincere. May her voice ring in your ears and move your heart. May you, like me, be changed.

Neema’s Plight
by Ann Wanjiku

In front of you is Ann Wanjiku,
ready to present a poem entitled, Neema’s Plight.
Sit back, relax and enjoy

Birth of a baby, must be a blessing event,
But hers was nothing short of a curse,
Culture, gender, count them all.
A girl is not as welcome as a baby boy,
at thirteen she has to face the worst.
A knife cut across her genital,
a midwife circumcised and stitched her,
she now has a black scar.
Why is it this kind of pain?
This pain of primitive culture?
Dear mankind!
wherever you are!
is she not a human being? (sobs)

As if that is not enough
“14 years is perfect real wife,”
her father said,
As he expected cold cash,
from a 40-year old man,
Killing her dreams, education and childhood,
But marriage was done,
the dowry was paid,
Injecting the title of wife into her bloodstream.
Dear mankind!
wherever you are!
is she not a human being? (sobs)

Thank you.

Today, in honor of International Day of the Girl Child, we celebrate millions of girls like Ann, boldly speaking up and advocating for a future where they have the agency and opportunity to reach their God given potential.

Will you join with us and stand for the rights of girls around the world today? Together, we can help build bright futures for girls for generations to come.

$35 Sends a displaced girl in South Sudan to school.

$80 Teaches five girls how to protect themselves from human trafficking in Cambodia.

$150 Provides a safe place for a refugee girl in Jordan to receive basic education, process trauma and experience Christ’s love through the local church.

$250 Reduces early marriage of young girls in Malawi through weekly clubs that teach girls about their worth and promote future success through education.

Dana North serves as the Marketing Manager at World Relief. With a background in graphic design and advertising and experiences in community development and transformation, Dana seeks to use the power of words and action to help create a better world. Dana is especially passionate about seeking justice for women and girls around the world.

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