Kenyan religious leaders fight to rescue young girls from child marriage

webRNS-Kenya-Beading2-091118-480x640Source: Religion News Service

By Tonny Onyulo

SAMBURU, Kenya (RNS) — As she sat outside her hut making jewelry to sell to tourists, 9-year-old Sajon Lengupayi pleaded with passers-by to rescue her from an early marriage that she said her parents arranged without her consent.

“It pains me a lot,” said Sajon as she broke down in tears. “I want someone to help me move out of this marriage so that I can go back to school.”

Sajon’s husband “beaded” her when he was 20 and she was 7 years old. He placed traditional beads around her neck, declaring his possession of her, and gave her family a dowry of cattle, goats and sheep.

They were married against her will in early 2017.

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