Rev Canon Christopher Chochoi

Sometimes back in 2002, during my last years before retiring as Rev of the Angican Church of Kenya in Nginyang, I encountered a very troubled 16-year-old girl who had taken rat poison rather than return to the violent and abusive elderly man she had been forced to marry. Despite praying with the girl she succumbed to the poisoning complication sometime later and died. It was so painful seeing such a young soul die due to retrogressive cultural practices.

I prayed to God for direction on the matter and an idea to start a rescue centre came into my mind. I shared it with my wife Nelly and together we agreed that we would offer any help needed to stop this traumatic experiences from happening to the girls in our community.

We started with one girl who had fled a forced marriage in Churo village, more than 100 kilometres away. The juvenile had walked from her home to Nginyang’ for three days surviving on nothing but “kwekwe” ravaged from ant hills. Since we had no structure to house her, my wife Nelly prepared one of our grass-thatched house in the homestead for her to live in and soon five other girls joined later. The number has been increasing ever since. CGRH is the only girls rescue centre in the region.