You see Sarah embodies why we rescue and care for children perfectly. She is the, or rather was, the epitome of the orphan problem here in Kenya.
She started life out in a rural village where girls and women do not hold the same place in society as men and boys. Her tribe practices wife inheritance, though the custom has not adapted well to the modern times. You see instead of the husband’s brother marrying his brother’s widow in order to care for her and maintain the family name and property, it is all about acquiring that property for himself and sex. Women more often than not find themselves powerless in these situations. If they refuse then they could lose the farm, or even worse, as was the case with Sarah’s mother.
She lost her life. The man who wanted to inherit her grew violent when she refused him and stabbed her to death. Sarah and her siblings found the body the next morning. The village/family took all the boys in and the land. The girls were turned out, which left Sarah living with a mentally unstable grandmother in extreme poverty.
We heard about her and invited her to live with us. Now she is in school, fed, healthy, and has a family that will not sell her off or turn her out just because she is a girl.
Sarah is a bit of an enigma though, a hard nut to crack . She is perfect in the sense of why we came, and it gives me a lot of pride to have been part of her rescue and securing her hope in the future. Yet she is a distant girl. Very quiet and emotionally reserved. So on one hand all those good feelings about saving her, on the other hand we are missing the feelings from her. Frustrated me for a while, till I realized I am the same way. One day she will express her feelings, till then she has a safe, loving family that will respect her feelings.