In April of 2010, I went with my school, Greater Atlanta Christian School, to Kenya, Africa for a mission trip. We partnered with 410 Bridge, an organization that takes groups over to villages in Africa. We were lucky enough to meet the beautiful people of Ngammba. Traveling with a group of 40 people, we first flew to Amsterdam and then Nairobi, Kenya. After arriving, we drove one hour to the village of Ngammba. On the first Saturday of our trip, we met the people. The village of Ngammba is very large, divided into North, South, East, and West. Throughout the areas of the village, schools have been uprooted for the hopeful children of the community.
That Saturday, the people of the community welcomed us with open arms. The children were wearing blue and red, distinguishing which school they went to. They sang, danced, smiled, and cried due to our arrival. They grabbed our hands as we stepped off the muddy bus. Each one of us found ourselves carrying four to five little children who clung to all of our limbs. I was shocked to see decaying teeth and the scraps of clothing. The bad odor clogged my nostrils. I expected despair and hopelessness to captivate me, but I was wrong. All that I saw that day was joy in the eyes of the Kenyan people.
Little did I know I would face an abhorrent pain. A small group of us got the opportunity to have a bible study with the teens of the community. At first, things were quiet. But a beautiful, young girl named Demaris who was 19 years old found her way to the group. She interacted with us and asked many questions. I was lucky enough to really get to talk to her. As we exchanged questions of our different lifestyles, I asked some very delicate questions.
“Yeah. Men rape women all the time. They have raped girls as young as a year old.” She stated calmly. “Like for me, when I get raped, I can’t tell my parents because they will disown me. I mean when my dad rapes me—“
“Wait, so your dad rapes you Demaris?” I asked shockingly.
“Of course.” She stated as if it was normal.
It is so crazy to believe everything that people in America are oblivious to. Worrying over what clothes to buy, wasting the food we didn’t eat, and complaining about the unfairness of our parents is what seems to be the main concern. But after traveling to Africa, I have realized we cannot sit back and wait for the next beautiful Demaris to become a victim of this cruel world.
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