“We used to see old men walking home with sugar and tea leaves, thinking they were just normal visitors. We did not know that they had come to request our parents to marry us until Stellah heard from neighbors. After hearing the story, I shared it with one of my best friends, Ntoninye, whose parents also wanted to marry her to an old man.
We then decided to run away without informing our parents. We walked the whole day without food and water until we reached Wamba where one community member took us to the chief’s office. We were then introduced to a woman whom we were told works with an organization called IIRR. We have never stepped in a classroom and even never knew what education was.
All we used to do at home was herd cattle and goats in the forest. Our father never used to care about us because we are girls. We have brothers who went to school but they never mentioned to our fathers that they need to take us to school. We are now enrolled in Ntepes Primary School and we were told our new classroom was constructed by IIRR.
We feel IIRR are good people who love to rescue children and would like to see us progress in our studies. They have been a great help for us. They have visited us, bought us hygiene kits, underwear, school sweater, mattresses to sleep on, and even asked how we are progressing on our studies. We like English and mathematics.
When we grow up and study hard, we would like to be county representatives so we can rescue other girls from early/forced marriage in our village. We want to one day sensitize our community about the importance of girl education so that they can learn and know their rights as women and girls.”