This poem from a young female refugee is the most moving thing you'll read today

This poem from a young female refugee is the most moving thing you'll read today

At the age of just 15, Jediva* was kidnapped and taken to Kenya as a man's '19-year-old wife'.

Too terrified to eat or speak, she lived as a slave for her captor and his sister, under the daily threat of being killed if she told anyone who she really was.

When Jediva sold her food rations to buy books, her captor beat her, saying she would "die here as a dog".

She managed to escape to the police station. When a dental investigation revealed she was only 15, and not the age her captor claimed she was, Jediva was taken to a safe haven.

Living in a refugee camp in Kenya, she now attends school where she is educated using the Vodafone Foundation's tablet-based teaching programme.

For the first time in her life, she could access the internet – and, before anything else, she chose to look up a video of an active volcano, which she had never seen before.

She said:

If girls would have access to education, the world would shine just like success. Everybody may respect girls, even men. All of them may respect girls.

She continued:

Education is key. It’s everything in my life.

Jediva aspires to become a lawyer so she can one day help people who have had experiences like her own.

Here is Jediva's poem, entitled 'What does this world really expect from a girl child?', in full:

When I go to school to acquire knowledge,

they say girls were born to be married 

and do their kitchen work.


When I pass my exams,

they say I have copied from others.

When I fail,

they say, “Look at this stupid wasting our money”.


When I wear a long dress,

they say, “Look at that unfashionable [girl]”.

When I wear a short one,

they say, “Look at this prostitute”.


When I walk with my brother,

they say he is my boy lover.

When I walk alone,

they say, “Even virgins have time for men”.


When I grow fat,

they say I’m pregnant. 

When I grown thin,

they say I’m HIV positive.


Please, please tell me,

“What does this world really expect from a girl child?”

*Jediva is not the poet's real name.

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