A network of microphilanthropy that supports Middlebury students.

I will use the funding from MiddSTART to paint, decorate and buy play therapy materials for four children’s counseling rooms in the Gender Violence Recovery Center at Nairobi Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

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Dollars Raised: 125%

Funding Details

Deadline: Jun 30, 2011
Total needed: $2,000



Ansally Kuria '12, Neuroscience, Nairobi, Kenya

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The Gender Violence Recovery Center (GVRC) is a non-profit and charitable trust of the Nairobi Women’s and Children’s Hospital which currently has two branches: Hurlingham and Adams in Nairobi, Kenya. Two more branches, one in Ongata Rongai and the other in Mombasa are set to open by June. These branches will provide free medical treatment and psychosocial assistance to the survivors of Gender Based Violence.

While doing an internship with the GVRC, the review of files for case studies for their annual report indicated that last year (April 2009-March 2010) the total number of Gender Bias Violence (GBV) survivors was 2,487. Of this number, 45% were children, the majority being girls (87.5%) and the youngest survivor being three months old.

Sexual Violence is a terrible thing to happen to anyone irrespective of gender or age. While I realize I cannot do anything to change the fact that these children have been violated, I feel I must take a step beyond empathy or sympathy and instead do something to help these children heal.

While visiting the children counseling rooms at two locations, Adams and Hurlingham Nairobi, I noticed that the treatment rooms needed to be more child-friendly. The rooms were plain white without decoration and with only a few broken toys. Play and art activities are proven methods for helping children freely express their feelings, which might include fear of the unknown or the opposite gender, anger, confusion, a need for protection, embarrassment, or low self esteem. It is essential that these feelings are identified in order to facilitate the healing process. A counseling room for children survivors of GBV should be safe, comfortable and far from dull. It should be a place that is designed to let children be children.

I will use the funding from MiddSTART to paint, decorate and buy play therapy materials (e.g. doll houses, a range of toys, and drawing and coloring materials) for four children’s counseling rooms. By refurbishing these rooms, I hope to provide a conducive environment where survivors of violence can really “just be kids”, free to express themselves and as such, begin their journey to healing.

25 Responses to “Let Children Be Children”

  1. Kevin Brown says:

    Way to go Ansally! The first children’s counseling room looks wonderful. I am sure that it will
    be an asset for children in need. Precious Blood was a great idea. Your perserverance will pay
    off – Forward Ever, Backwards Never!!

  2. Kevin Brown & Betsy Meinhardt says:

    Yea Ansally,

    Great blog! Your project looks like it’s going great. Can’t wait to see pictures of the
    refurbished rooms for the children. Hurry back to Vermont! We miss you.

    • Dot says:

      Hi and thanks Papa and Mama. I know I have been quiet but I still miss you all a whole lot.
      Will be in Vermont next week….bittersweet.

  3. Ansally says:

    Hello everyone! Greetings from Kenya!
    Please follow the progress of my project on:
    Thank you.

  4. Stella langat says:

    Dear Ansally,
    I whole-heartedly and sincerely thank you for your support especialy that i am Kenyan currently a UWC
    student of Adriatic,and honestly you have not only said the truth about the situation in Adams instead
    you said and took a step of improving it,which is more than perfectly awesome. Before flying out of Kenya
    i was in Adams Arcade women’s hospital and i though maybe next summer i would include it to be part of
    the project since this summer i already organized one in various places of the country as well as Kibera
    (slum near Ongata Rongai).
    I would totally visit your website.
    Thanks again.

    • Ansally says:

      Hi Stella, Thank you so much for your kind note. Sounds like you will be home this summer! Maybe
      we should meet up and talk? I also went to the UWC of the adriatic… so seems we have many
      similarities!If you get this, please write me an email akuria@middlebury.edu and we can organize
      on how to meet up.

  5. Ansally says:

    122%???? I do not know what to say but thank you! Thank you so much!

  6. Wangechi says:

    Ansally, We are so proud of you. It takes heart and commitment to turn anything into a reality, and you
    have just done that. We at GVRC are humbled by your support.This contributes immensely to healing and
    giving back meaning to the women, girls, boys and men who are survivors of gender based violence, in
    Kenya and generally in Africa. For the children, it’s immediate physical therapy and we are touched.

    I do encourage anyone who wants to give back to society in one way or another, or to support Ansally
    to visit our website http://www.gvrc.or.ke and join in as a friend of gvrc.

    Wangechi-Executive Director-GVRC

  7. Esther Ngari says:

    Great job, keep going.

  8. Esther Ngari says:

    Great job gal, keep going. A very touching subject, lets love each other and create a better environment
    for our offsprings. The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.

  9. Ansally says:

    if you like the work GVRC is doing, like them on facebook and spread the word.

  10. Kevin Brown & Betsy Meinhardt says:

    This project has our enthusiastic support. Ansally has found a way to bring a tangible benefit to children
    in need and to thereby do her part to make the world a better place. We are impressed, but not surprised,
    by Ansally’s vision, drive, and commitment. We are proud of Kipepeo.

  11. Charity says:

    Great initiative Ansally. Wow!!

  12. Ansally says:

    ‎$ 1026 in 6 days!!!!!!! This is amazing!!!!! I am so humbled. Thank you so so much for all your
    support…for believing in me. It means more than you can imagine! 974 to go. We can do this!!!

  13. Beda says:

    Such a step is the true meaning of having a big heart.You go girl. Let kids be kids.

  14. Joyce says:

    Thanks for letting me know about this! I think this is a great cause and I am happy to tell my friends
    about it so that they can give too! Good luck with your efforts girl!

  15. Robin says:

    We support you and the organization all the way to bring back meaning to the lives of children survivors of gender based violence.

  16. Njuguna mu7ny says:

    Thats my friend doing it big as always..am proud of you

  17. Ansally says:

    Thank you so much to all of you who have given already. This is actually just part of the project I intend to do this summer. The other part of the project involves sexual and domestic violence awareness campaigns in schools. So the project is just not “curative” but “preventive” too…
    If you are interested in knowing more about GVRC, please use the link below.

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