WHY THE BOGORIA GIRL:
Its during the just passed festive season (December 2017) that the Bogoria girl was born in me. My family’s 2017 Christmas holiday took us to all the lakes in Kenya’s Great Right Valley. We left Nairobi on the 24th December and first destination was Lake Bogoria where we stayed for three nights. Our home for those three nights was Lake Bogoria Spa and Resorts. With two swimming pools the resort is a perfect getaway for families with kids. It gave us a chance to swim late at night because one of the pols is naturally heated pool. Lake Bogoria is famous for hot geyser springs thus the naturally heated swimming pool. 26th Dec will forever remain a special day for me. On this day dinner was by the pool (the natural heated pool). Friends of Lake Nakuru was the band entertaining us, we also had the bogoria women perform their traditional dance. Then here came what would be my 2017 highlight. The manager on duty announced that there was a short video clip they wanted to show us. He went on to explain what it was all about. It was about one of their own at Lake Bogoria Spa and Resort by the name Lydia. The clip was about what Lydia has been doing for the community around the resort and she was appealing for well-wishers to join her. This Lady has been putting smiles on girls and women in Bogoria though the journey has not been easy. I came to learn then that the girls in Bogoria are not able to attend school throughout each month because their parents can’t afford sanitary pads. Came every November and December those that are of age risk going through FGM.
This story touched me so deep and I felt the urge to know more about Lydia and the bogoria girl. Ruth was our waiter that evening and I enquired from her who Lydia was and if it was possible to see her that evening since we were to leave next day in the morning. Luckily enough she was on duty and within few minutes she was at our table.
Lydia shared with me at length on what it is that she does for the bogoria girl and woman. To most of you reading this maybe it has never occurred to you that we have some girls who miss school for 3 to 5 days every month because they can afford sanitary pad. I would like to let you know that this does happen and Bogoria is one of these places that you will meet these girls. She goes onto tell me that she uses her little savings and what she has collected from friends to buy these girls the sanitary pads. This was shocking. Yes it was not the first time I was hearing this kind of story in my home land Kenya but it was the first time I was listening unedited story. A story from someone on the ground who told me as it was. I asked here a hundred and one questions. With the little she gets she is able to buy the pads but there are times when she does not get enough money to buy and provide to all the needy girls. By now you all have an idea what happens when a girl does not get her monthly supply…..you are right, she misses school close to five days and though she stays at home she is very restricted on where to go or what to do. Sad, right? You will be more surprised to learn that one girl needs only Kshs 2000 (20 USD) to be able to get a one-year supply for the sanitary towel. Yes, the figure is correct. Per month this will be Kshs 170 approximately (USD 1.70). During this talk an inner voice kept on telling me Anne you need to do something and even as I type this that inner voice is still talking to me. I have no dought that I need to do something for these girls.
Effect of these 3 to 5 days is very huge. These girls are forced to go out and source for the little money they need. And how do they do this? They are lured by men who in return gives them some few shillings for their needs. A times this results in early pregnancy and early polygamous marriages.
Lydia goes on to tell me that come November and December which is our schools longest holiday some of these girls are forced to go through FGM. This is also another of her project. To see that these girls are not subjected to this inhumanly act, she keeps on educating young girls on why they should not agree to go through FGM. Our talk got deep that at some point, I had to release my family to go for a swim at the spa pool promising to join them later (we had agreed earlier that we were to have a late-night swim). Our 7-year-old son kept on coming to remind me that I needed to join them in the spa pool as we had a deal. At one point he came and said “Mummy, I can see that this is a very serious talk but is there hope of you joining us at the swimming pool” He was very right, I was touched by this story that for moment I forgot why I was at Lake Bogoria Spa.
Remember I mentioned that some becomes victim of early pregnancy? There need also becomes more. As we concluded promised Lydia that I will be one of those who will walk with her on this journey. Am not sure but maybe she has been told this before but nothing materialized. As we ushered in the new year I told myself that will make personal contribution to this very noble course. I will approach my friends and request them to each take care of a girl for a whole year. Being that I am the CEO and Founder of Kisima Safaris I felt I could do more. On coming back to the office after the holidays I have shared the story with my team and they all want to be part of this journey. It is through this that THE BOGORIA GIRL SAFARI has been born. For every client who travel with us Kisima safaris will contribute 20 dollars toward purchasing of sanitary pad. We also welcome our guests on this safari to add something on this kitty and be a part as we give confidence to the BOGORIA WOMAN. The Bogoria is thus commencing this year and we are ready to walk with these girls and make them have a bright future ahead.