How you can change the world for one person – Rafiki Mwema.

At 3am this morning I was helping my six-year-old battle another hour-long coughing fit.

Rain was falling softly for the first time in months helping to ease the drought affecting most of Queensland.

But as I was rubbing my girl’s back to comfort her I thought of the girls at Rafiki Mwema, a therapeutic safe house in Kenya for young victims of sexual abuse.

Set up by Play Kenya, Rafiki Mwema is a place where girls 12 and under, some as young as two, are given help to make sense of the horrors that have happened to them.

Sadly many of these innocent girls are victims of horrendous and systematic abuse from their dads, brothers and even grandparents.

Fact: It costs $5000AUD to run Rafiki Mwema each month and it’s a constant battle to ensure the doors remain open. 

At Rafiki the girls get access to any medical treatment they need, support through the court system, and where possible carers work with the girls’ families for a safe return home.

As with most charities, there are just a handful of people working long hours with limited resources for little reward, well except for the big smiles and love of these precious Kenyan girls.

Just a few of the beautiful Rafiki girls, their smiles just melt my heart, and after all they have been through.

Just a few of the beautiful Rafiki girls, their smiles just melt my heart.

The mum driving the awareness and fundraising campaign for Rafiki Mwema in Australia is Sarah from Castle Design with a *team of other generous souls.

I was privileged to hear Sarah speak at The North Coast Creative Business Women’s High Tea last month.

It was here that I found out that her desire to make a difference was born out of tragic accident she had in the US, one that nearly claimed her life.

Sarah was a passenger in a high-speed car accident, the vehicle flipped six times before tossing her out on to the road and then landed beside her almost lifeless body.

“It is a memory that will stay with me forever, I thought I was going to die,” says Sarah.

Among other serious injuries her femur snapped in two places, she had a broken hip, busted discs in her back and cuts to most of her body.

As she was lying there in unfathomable pain she started thinking about the four weeks she had recently spent in Kenya.

“I remember thinking thank god I’m not in Kenya because I know there would be little chance of survival,” says Sarah.

She lay on the road for hours, broken, alone, until emergency services finally arrived and she was airlifted to hospital.

It was two months before she was well enough to fly home to Australia to start her long, painful rehabilitation. Despite emotional and physical scars, what kept Sarah motivated was her desire to help young girls in Kenya.

You can help by sending letters, drawings and stickers, they just love getting mail!

You can help by sending letters, drawings and stickers, the girls just love getting mail!

Sarah believes charity should be important to everyone and that it should be a part of everyone’s life. She said she was “given her life back” and was determined to dedicate it helping others.

For years she has worked with various charities offering them a 50 per cent discount on logos, websites, promotional material and other social media needs.

Fact: Since 2012 Castle Design has donated nearly $60,000 of design work to registered charities.

But Sarah’s heart and soul remains intrinsically linked to Rafiki Mwema and the girls in Kenya she adores.

As a mother to a young girl myself I can’t but help be drawn to a charity that is dedicated to helping defenseless children who are often hurt by the one person they should be able to trust.

Here are some projects Sarah is currently raising funds for and products you can buy:

1. A 4WD vehicle to rescue abused girls from inaccessible and remotes areas.

2. The Rafiki Safe Link – which is a video link system in the courtroom so girls as young as two-years-young don’t have to give evidence in the same room as their attacker and hostile defence lawyers.

3. Donate to Rafiki – make a one-off donation of a few dollars or sponsor a girl for $200 a month.

4. A Raffle for Rafiki – for just $5 you can win a spot in the Clever Cookie course or for $10 you could win year’s advertising on Fat Mum Slim!

5. Rafiki Tote Bags – these gorgeous bags are $5 and all money goes to Rafiki. I have one!

6. Letters to the girls – getting pictures, letters and stickers make their day, but don’t send big packages because the organisation gets charged to collect it if it doesn’t fit in a post box.

Fact: Rafiki Mwema means Loyal Friend.

rafiki mwema

My older two writing letters and drawing pictures, we’re off to get stickers this afternoon.

I know many of us have little to give and we are always being hit up for money to help those less fortunate than ourselves. It’s so easy to just look the other way when someone is trying to get your attention in the shopping mall.

It’ll be simple for you to click away from this and shake your head the atrocities happening to these girls in Kenya and do nothing.

But here’s what I ask you to do, as a favour to me:

1. Share this with everyone you know, especially those with a big heart and wallet!

2. Spend time talking to your children about those less fortunate than them, then encourage them to draw pictures and write a letter and send them to the Rafiki girls.

3. Forgo a $5 coffee and buy yourself a tote bag or make a donation to help raise money for a video link system to a courtroom.

4. Hugs your child a little tighter when you tuck them in to bed tonight.

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Do your kids LOVE drawing and writing? Maybe this could be a nice project for them to get involved with?

Perhaps you’re a school teacher and have a class of kids that can write letters or draw picture to cheer up a group of beautiful girls in Kenya?

 *Claire from Barefruit Marketing uses her skills and knowledge to raise awareness and encourage donations to Rafiki Mwema, Nicci from Brightcloud Bookkeeping implements processes to manage Rafiki’s finances and donations and Jandy, who has a long career in admin and project management helps across all aspects of the program.

 

Comments

  1. A truly fabulous cause Em. Sharing on Facebook now xx

  2. Great cause Em. Have shared and bought raffle tickets.

  3. Thank you for bringing this beautiful charity to our awareness. Shared and off to buy a tote bag. 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing this Em, so important to teach our little ones to have open hearts for those less fortunate. 1 to 4 are duly in progress. xx

  5. Such a great story. Lovely to read about good people. x

  6. Thanks for sharing Em. My second girls unit of enquiry at school this term is ‘children world wide experience a range of opportunities, challenges and threats.’ It’s been a great platform for discussion about how blessed we are and what we can do for others.

  7. Thanks for sharing and spreading the word. I’ve shared it on facebook and have ordered my bag. High fives to Sarah and all the team at Rafiki Mwema for all their good work. Together we can make a difference x

  8. Great read, Em. I think of these girls often. I have bought some raffle tickets, but sadly our letter and stickers still sit unsent on my kitchen table. I will get them off this week xx

  9. This hits home for me in many ways. My American cousin died the exact way Sarah survived, thrown from a high speed car accident. She was the only one not to survive, dying the year she was meant to come to Australia’s to meet us.
    I have also experienced what the effects of sexual assault can do to someone, following an immediate family member being ubducted and rapped at gun point, some years ago. The effect this can have on a family and the victim is infathomable and one i wish no one would have to endure. But we nor the victim was a children and although a rap/abuse/assault is horrifying crime in any circumstance we did have family, resources and assistance. A lot less than what these poor girls would have before them.

    What a truly selfless and inspiring effort Sarah and the rest of her team are doing. What beautiful souls. Thanks for sharing with us Emily. x

  10. Thank you for sharing. Such a tragedy we need organisations like this but it’s fortunate for these young victims they have Rafiki. I’m tell my friends and send some stickers and letters too.

  11. Thank you – great post. Tweeted and off to grab a tote…

  12. Thanks for sharing and raising awareness of such an important organisation.

  13. Thank you for sharing. I’ll share this on my FB page and I bought some raffle tickets over the weekend.

  14. Such a worthy cause to promote Em xx

  15. Sharing now and will be buying raffle tickets.

  16. What a fabulous cause to promote Em! XX

  17. I shared your post. Thanks for writing about this cause and raising awareness Em.

  18. Good on you Em. I know that I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed, there is just so much need in the world – where to even start? A sponsored child is a good start I think 🙂

  19. Good on you Emily for sharing this wonderful charity with not just me, but everyone who reads this. You’re a champion.
    It is so shocking that girls as young as two are being treated so badly, it just shouldn’t happen. I am going to do something, if it helps just one person xx

  20. This is such an awesome cause. Unfortunately I can relate to those girls a little more than I’d like to. It much be so horrible living in a country where its the norm to be treated that way rather than the exception. Its so wonderful that charities like these exist to help the girls.

  21. It’s wonderful that these girls are being supported after such traumatic experiences. Good on you for spreading the word and raising awareness Em x

  22. Good on you for helping raise awareness. You worded it beautifully ❤️

  23. This made me cry. A beautiful tribute Em. I would absolutely love to get involved and help xx

  24. Good on you for sharing this Em. The emotion that Sarah showed at the high tea that day really gripped me, she is an amazing woman.

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  1. […] see Sarah started volunteering for Rafiki after she was almost left for dead in a car accident in the US. Since this time she has rebuilt her body, mind and soul and now […]

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