Where there is light, there is also shadow.
Where there is hope, there is also pain.
Yesterday, 15th September 2018, was such a day of pain and we are still not able to express our grief and sorrow.
In the afternoon a fire broke out in a dormitory at Bena Academy for unknown reasons. Despite our attempts to extinguish the fire and further help from the community, for which we are very grateful, we lost two of our precious girls. The daughters of our school manager and a team member of Zinduka Kenya. Tanya, 2 years, and Laylah, 4 years, are irreplaceable for their families and for us, we are still in shock due to their loss.
Sadly, their families are in needy conditions and funerals are very expensive. Help us alleviate the families’ pain by freeing them of this financial burden.
A tragedy like this leaves deep scars. In winter 2018 we are likely to give the girls from the area the opportunity to find shelter and safety from FGM at the Rescue Camp in our school. Therefore, we need to rebuild what was destroyed by the fire.
For those reasons we kindly ask for your donations, so the funerals and the Rescue Camp 2018 can take place and two lost girls can finally Rest In Peace.
Let us bring hope back to Zinduka and our school Bena Academy.
Where there is darkness, there is also light.
Where there is pain, there is also hope.
Thanks to everyone out there, be with us and help us to overcome this tragedy here in Kenya.
Your team of Zinduka Kenya and Zinduka e.V.
Hope for Bena
Zinduka e.V. is Swahili and means basically, "wake up and come to a realization".
We are a non-governmental organization which was founded by Antonia Sophia Waskowiak in Germany to support education and bring an end to FGM in Kenya.
Antonia is currently studying a bachelors in nutrition, but continues to spend her breaks in Kenya, as well as actively involving other students in supporting Zinduka. She is part of the administration of a private primary school named Bena Academy in Kuria East. Bena gives education to children from under-priviledged backgrounds, who would not be able to afford school fees.
Besides that, Antonia developed a program to help protect girls in this area from the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Zinduka supports Bena Academy, a private primary school in the rural parts of southwestern Kenya in Kuria East. All school buildings were built through donations, which Zinduka collects mainly from Germany. Zinduka also supports those children from families who are not able to pay their own school fees.
Construction of the school began in 2013, with eventually eight classrooms, a kindergarten and a staff room.
Apart from that, Zinduka provides training to the teachers, as well as support to the students and their parents. She also ensures free education and a place to live to some girls, who were saved from being cut and are now able to go to school.
Bena Academy is constantly growing and in total has 325 students and a staff of 17 from the local community (both teaching and non-teaching).
Zinduka was officially founded in 2016 to better promote the projects in Kuria East. Currently there are projects to construct an underground water tank and a girls dormitory.
The building materials for these constructions (ie the bricks) are produced by the hard work and support of volunteers and the community itself.
Female Genital Mutilation has been intensively practiced in Kuria East, Kenya. Through greater awareness and working within the community, the percentage of cut girls has been reduced by 12% (from 96% to 84%). Worldwide it is estimated that there are more than 200 million girls and women survivors of FGM.
Zinduka uses “Education against Mutilation” in the process of bringing the practice of FGM to an end. With the help of community members, they transparently explain the facts (and risks) to the students of Bena Academy and other local schools.
Furthermore, Zinduka collects donations to put up a Rescue Camp for all the girls who refuse to undergo FGM. The camp is organised in the grounds of Bena Academy itself. The focus is on those girls that face pressure from their parents, family members or the community to take part in this dangerous and unnecessary cultural rite. They are provided with education, security and a place to be. They also run projects that involve and educate the parents and local community. At the end of the camp, Zinduka organizes an “Alternative Rite of Passage”, which aims to provide an equal feeling of transition for the young girls – without being cut!
November/December 2016, the first Rescue Camp was organized successfully. Zinduka was able to host 150 young Kurian girls, who were informed openly about FGM, as well as educated and taken care
of for around 30 days. The final result was that they were successfully kept safe from this practice, and all took part in the Alternative Rite of Passage.
Following successful fund raising, a further camp was run at the end of 2016, and successfully prevented 150 girls from being pressured in to this practice.
Zinduka is currently fund-raising to continue this important project in 2018 and beyond.
The lack of education and health knowledge is a major contributing cause to FGM, but it is also still seen as of part of the Kurian culture. Problems appear especially with elders, who didn't go to school and are resistant to change, especially concerning the ending of FGM.
At the moment, Zinduka supports three girls with different challenging backgrounds. All of them successfully attended the Rescue Camp and its Alternative Rite of Passage in 2016 and finished their primary education in Bena Academy.
However, secondary schools are expensive and "if my daughter would be cut, she would have already been married and we would have received a dowry, which supports my family"... as one father said about his daughter. He refused to give her the opportunity to go to school – denying her the right to go to university in future or being employed independent.
Zinduka gives these girls the possibility to attend school and build their own future, and provides a safe living place for them while they do so.
You can donate
directly to Zinduka with the following account information.
Account holder: Zinduka e.V.
Bank: Sparkasse Marburg-Biedenkopf
(Reason: Donation Bena Academy/FGM)
Your donation goes exclusively to running Bena Academy, and the projects against FGM.
All other costs (for instance travel to Kenya) are met by Zinduka’s founder (Antonia Waskowiak) or the volunteers that come out to support the construction.
Thank you very much for your support!
Asante sana! (Swahili for “Thank you very much!”)
The team of Zinduka e.V.
contact us: email@example.com