Chuki is just a child, but at a young age has already experienced more trauma than the vast majority of girls her age.
Chuki was tricked into running away from home by an older man. He bought her to Mombasa and forced her to have sex with him in return for staying in his house. Experiencing sexual abuse and rape, Chuki fled her home, only to face more fear and danger on the streets.
Thankfully, Chuki heard about the drop-in centre in Mombasa run by our partner, Glad’s House Kenya. When Chuki first went to the centre she was so shy she barely spoke. On the few occasions, Chuki built up the courage to say something her voice was so quiet staff struggled to hear what she was saying.
But the team at Glad’s House Kenya were patient and kind, they could see that Chuki was extremely vulnerable and traumatised.
The drop-in centre was the first place that Chuki had felt safe in a long time. Gradually she felt able to trust the team of staff. They listened to Chuki and gave her a safe space to share her story. Heartbreakingly, Chuki revealed that she had been forced to sleep with 10 men before coming to the drop-in centre.
Glad’s House Kenya has been able to give Chuki the care and support she desperately needs. Chuki is now receiving specialist counselling sessions to help her process everything she has experienced. Chuki has also been taking part in lessons and has discovered that she likes to express herself through writing. The amazing team at Glad’s House Kenya have helped to place Chuki with a foster family, so she no longer has to live on the streets and face abuse from men.
Now Chuki is feeling safer, she is thriving. Although she is still shy, Chuki has started playing volleyball with the other girls at the drop-in centre. She has even begun to dream about her future and wants to become a teacher when she is older.
In the communities, we work there are still so many children who face danger on a daily basis. On the streets substance misuse, violent attacks and abuse by adults who want to harm or exploit them can simply become day-to-day experiences for children. For some children experiencing disabilities, simply living at home can threaten their childhood.