In the year 2000, the sisters of Mary Immaculate of Nyeri were invited by the Catholic Bishop of Maralal to serve the people of Suguta-Marmar in Samburu County. One late evening in the year 2002, two young girls showed up at sisters’ convent escaping forced marriage. They were afraid, exhausted and hungry. They expressed the need for protection and support. Eventually, they expressed their wish to continue with education. This is how the rescue Centre was founded.
Over the years, girls who have experienced harmful cultural practices such as early forced marriages and female genital mutilation and other forms of sexual and gender based violence show up regularly in search of protection and support. In some cases, family members help girls escape the harmful cultural practices and bring them to the safety of the Rescue Centre for protection. In other instances, community leaders such as chiefs, police officers, religious leaders, children services and other government officers bring the girls to the centre.
Since its inception in 2002 more than 450 girls have been residents at the centre. They have gained careers have been reintegrated back into the community as teachers, police officers, and others manage small business enterprises. Currently, the Centre has capacity for 120 girls. All girls are registered in schools within the country and in the Mary Immaculate network of schools and colleges.
To restore the lost human dignity, self-esteem and to empower the girl child to flourish.
To ultimately eliminate harmful cultural practices that lead to violation of children rights and their human dignity. We can only achieve this with support from the Samburu community itself, Local, County and National Governments, as well as local and international partners. Recognizing that this is a complex problem that requires creative approaches.