There are many cases that go unreported. Cases of young girls and boys going through abuse under the care of people who are supposed to protect and take care of them. Most of these kids are orphans or come from very poor background where the biological parents are not able to provide the basic needs for them, hence are forced to seek refuge at relatives or neighbours.
Research has also shown that some of these abuse cases are carried out by one biological parent when the other parent passes on and kids are left under the care of the surviving parent. In most cases, the surviving parent has an alcohol or drug addiction.
All or majority of such cases go unreported because of fear of stigmatisation, shame and general fear instilled in these young children’s mind by society or their abusers. The fact that there are no concrete laws at community level, that clearly state how to ”punish” abusers or deal with such cases, cases like these don’t get resolved quick enough. In some situations, perpetrators get away with abuse and carry on for years abusing these kids. The ”shame” is also a major contributing factor for such cases going unreported.
In cases where these cases are reported, and perpetrators put behind bars, there is no treatment (counseling) given to the children or/and their families. This means that the children carry these wounds and scars with them for the rest of their lives. While BIF will not be in a position to erase the history or the scars, it is our hope that by offering treatment in form of counseling, we will be helping with the healing process for these children.
After years of directly handling cases on abuse in Taita, it was obvious to Beata Mghendi (The Program Director & Chairlady for Beyond Innocence Foundation-Kenya), that something had to be done to help these children. Beata shared this with Martha Mghendi (Founder & Chair to the Board for Beyond Innocence Foundation- Netherlands), who was at that time planning to build a Children Orphanage in Taita. The situation of alarming rise of cases of abuse and what the home would be able to provide for the children, made Martha change the plans from building an orphanage to building a Safe House/ Rescue Center instead, and Beyond Innocence Foundation was born.
BIF is registered with Chamber of Commerce (KvK) in The Netherlands as a Stichting (NGO) and registered with the Taita Taveta County as a Community Based Organisation (CBO).
Involving the community is the most important aspect of operations for BIF, as this means that the community is directly involved in decision making and running of the project on the ground.
All Board Members work on Voluntary Basis meaning that no salaries are paid to them. This ensures that the funds raised go directly into the project instead of covering administration costs.
As a charity organisation run by volunteers, 100% of all donor funds received goes directly into the project.
Up until now, the project has been funded by the founding team, friends, family and a few Rotary clubs.
Your support will help BIF fulfil her mission.
Children are the future of tomorrow. Every child has a right to be a child. Every child has a right to feel safe under her/ his caretakers care. Every child has a right to be treated right and respected first as a child and secondly as an individual. Every child has a right to enjoy their childhood. Every child has a right to pursue their dreams. Every child has a right to a dream. Every child has a right of not feeling intimidated or pressured into forced marriages.
Every child has a right to be loved and feel loved. Every child has a right of never going through emotional, sexual or physical abuse. Every child has a right to report cases of abuse. Every child has a right of having someone listen and to have belief in them. Every child deserves help with reporting cases of abuse. Every child has a right to have laws that govern and protect her/ him as a child. Every child has a right of just being!
Our society is trained and controlled by shame and guilt. Shame of acknowledging and condoning abuse especially if it happens within families. Shame of facing up, owning up and helping to stop this cruel monster that robs the innocence of these helpless souls. Shame of talking about it. Shame of reporting it. Shame or fighting to get abusers behind bars. We have chosen to hide behind our walls and pretend nothing is happening, while we scar our girls and boys forever. We have fear, shame and guilt instilled so deep inside us that we can not even imagine ever telling the world that this needs to stop.
Our kids look up to us grown ups. Our kids believe in us. Our kids have faith and totally depend on us; their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, caretakers and society as a whole. Our kids trusts us fully with their innocence. Many times we let them down. We don’t believe them when they open up to us to report abuse cases. We hold family image too high at the cost of the innocence of our kids going through abuse. We would rather hold the family together by not ”shaming” the family than help our kids. In so doing, we rob them off their innocence, we create permanent scars, we glorify the abusers, and we deny them the very basic need of feeling safe under our society. If we do not help our kids, we do not deserve to show face, we do not deserve the respect, hope and love that these kids show and give us as a society.
It’s our hope that we will all take up the responsibility of providing a safe haven for our kids; giving back the love and respect they have shown and given us; restoring the faith they have or had in us as a society; helping them heal the scars; assuring them again that we will always be there and we will always do the best in our power to protect and make them feel safe. If in trouble we will always offer a shoulder to lean on and a place to call home.
It’s our hope that we, as a society will give the children the right they very much deserve of being kids.
It’s our hope that we can all look beyond those innocent faces and see the pain, hurt, anger, fear,shame and sadness that our kids carry so heavily within their little souls and hearts.
Only then can we understand how painful it is and hopefully join hands to restore the faith in humanity for the sake of our kids.