Please pray for Susan* and children like her to help prevent early child marriage

As our courageous team in Kenya work with community leaders to prevent the child marriage of an 11-year old girl, we ask for your prayer support for both this precious girl and others like her.

At age 11, Susan* found herself alone. Her mother had died, and her father was not in the home. We call these kids “lost kids” – children with no place to go, no family, no security, left to fend for themselves.  This is when they are most vulnerable, they may be exploited for labour, abused, neglected, trafficked, sold into slavery or often with very young girls, are forced into marriage.  These kids lose more than their childhood, they lose their options for escaping the cycle of poverty.

Susan was at great risk and with God’s help found herself at Kids Alive Kenya.

*Name and image changed for security reasons.

Eventually, Kids Alive Kenya was successful in tracing Susan’s father, a night watchman and sometimes casual labourer, and reunited the family. But an older man and some members of the community had other ideas. He wants to marry Susan and the men of the community are pressuring the father to release his young daughter. 

Thankfully, through the reunification process, Susan’s father had grown to have other goals for her future. But he needed help. So Kids Alive Kenya came up with a plan to help secure Susan’s safety. An informal care/support team including a teacher we know and trust, the local government chief, Susan’s father, and even Susan herself all have vital roles to play. They agree to these safety measures:

  • They will ensure that Susan is within eyesight of a trusted adult at all times (3 women neighbours have been identified as trusted). The teacher sends updates to Kids Alive staff often, and staff check in on Susan at home periodically.
  • If Susan ever feels threatened with abduction (which is a real fear), she is to immediately go to her teacher’s or chief’s place for safety.
  • A quick dial to any of our staff cell phones will activate Kids Alive to immediately come to her rescue and formally report the danger to the police (child marriage is illegal in Kenya, even though it is still practiced in a number of communities).

The plan has been in place for four months. At the moment, there is no evidence of attempted abduction or forced marriage activities and Susan has remained safe and in school. The pressure on the father continues and he is feeling alienated among the men of the community because he will not release his daughter. We are continually reminded that these issues are complicated, and breaking the cycle of poverty is difficult and challenging work.

We would ask you to join Susan’s support network by praying for Susan, for her father, the network we have put around her and all the other “Susans” Kids Alive is working with every day.

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." 1 Chronicles 16: 11

Posted on January 31st 2022

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