Driving through the community yesterday, I came across two young girls on the road. I waved and they smiled and waved back. I stopped, took a photo and gave them each a mango. Their smiles were priceless, but didn’t last long. Three teenage boys appeared; the little girls’ faces darkened and they stepped back off the road. I tried to imagine why they reacted in fear when they saw the boys. Then I remembered reading recently that one in three girls, in Zimbabwe, are abused before they are twelve years old.
My heart sank as I pondered the plight of those two precious, but vulnerable little girls – just two of many in the rural communities. Troubled thoughts ran through my mind and I felt helpless.
From a young age, girls in our rural communities, traditionally collect wood or water for their households when they get back from school. This often involves walking several miles – and they may have already walked several miles to and from school.