Forum for African Women Educationists Kenya (FAWE), a non-governmental organization, has launched an Imarisha Msichana programme in Garissa to help tackle teen pregnancies and promote girl child education in the county.
The programme, which will involve school-going children, boda boda operators, teachers and religious leaders will see sustained campaigns in all parts of the county on the rights of the girl child and the need to stop early marriages.
Speaking during the launch, Garissa Township Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Solomon Chesut urged the team to speak out against early marriages and teen sex in the society, especially for vulnerable girls.
“I urge you, as you go out there in the villages to spread this message, let us help our girls to achieve their dreams in life whether through education, in business, or any other projects they want to do in our societies,” Chesut said.
“There is a common saying that if you educate a girl child, you educate a whole nation. If we fail to educate our girls, we are failing our country,” he added.
Garissa County Executive Committee Member for Gender Ms. Hawa Abdi Sahal urged the team to also be ambassadors against sexual and gender-based violence especially for school-going children.
Sahal said it is time to stop the ‘rape culture’ in the county, and tasked the boda boda riders who for long have been accused of hitting on underage children to lead the campaigns and guard their name from a few crooked elements within the sector.
“If you see any form of sexual abuse in schools or in the villages and you report it to the relevant authorities and action is taken, you are keeping the community safe,” Sahal said.
“We also need to tell our communities to stop blaming the victims of gender-based violence. Stigmatizing our girls whose rights have been violated and impregnated is not good, it makes some of them stop schooling. We need to support them and not castigate them for the bad things that happened to them,” she added.