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Kenya_PendekezoLetu_September_2015_6Every year on 15th May, organisations across the world mark the International Day of Families in recognition of the importance of families and the role they play in protecting, educating and socialising children.

Sadly, millions of children across the world do not have families who are able provide them with the care and support they need. In Kenya, extreme poverty, increased rates of HIV, and high numbers of single (often female) headed households has forced many children and young people to live and work in the informal settlements in Nairobi. ChildHope's partner organisation, Pendekezo Letu, supports many of these street-connected girls to access their rights, whilst also strengthening their families so that they support their children's education and improve their life chances.

One of the children supported by Pendekezo Letu, Mary* (14 years) has written this poem to express her feelings towards the challenging realities she, and many other young girls in Nairobi face, and her desire to be supported by her family to gain a good education.

 

I will not escape

I will not escape. I will take time to explain

Please Papa, mama take me to school

And I will not escape

 

Do not ask me to get married early

Be patient with me or I will escape

Please Papa, mama take me to school

And I will not escape

 

Listen to me,

Please do not force me to child labor or I will escape

Please Papa, mama take me to school

And I will not escape

 

I do not want to get married early

Please papa, mama try to understand or I will escape

Please Papa, mama take me to school

And I will not escape

 

Teach me all I need to know

Do not deny me my rights

Thank you Pendekezo Letu for your support and making me a better person

I did not have shoes or clothes but now I have good shoes and good clothes

From the rags I had. From nobody to somebody

ChildHope would like to thank Mary and Pendekezo Letu for sharing this poem with us.

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