My name is SiKelly and I am a mother and mentor. I am the firstborn in a family of four and was born and raised in Chuka, Kenya. I went to Chuka Township Primary School, then to Chogoria Girls High School and pursued Management of Information Technology at Multimedia University.
As a firstborn, I had to be nurturing from a very young age. I was brought up in a Christian home and was taught to have a positive attitude towards life from a very young age. My mother taught me to be independent, too.
I had my child when I was pretty young. It was very hard and I remember the struggles as a young mother. I prayed so hard to be delivered from the situation.
By struggles, I mean a young mother’s struggles. A baby comes with so many expenses and as a young mom with very little in my hands, it’s very hard to maintain sanity. Being a mother also needs a lot of emotional balance to deal with a baby and with the instability. Most of the time, the baby will totally drain you if you are not ready.
Young moms with no stability in their finances or support systems are likely to suffer so much emotionally because they just aren’t looking out for themselves.
I was in my early twenties just trying to figure out life. After the baby, I had postpartum depression. It’s a deep feeling of self-hate and denial. You don’t bond much with the child either and in some intense situations, some mothers harm the kids or run away from them altogether. My child would cry himself to sleep. I wasn’t in any mood to soothe him. I couldn’t even breast feed him as he needed. Society made it worse when they judged me for not wanting to feed him so my breast wouldn’t sag. People are very mannerless.
It took time to snap back to life. In my moment of struggle, I asked God to help me so I could in turn help someone else going through what I went through.
After working for Resolution Insurance for five years, Safaricom for three, and heading a marketing company in South Sudan for another three years, I left the corporate world to come back to Kenya. It wasn’t easy to step into the unknown, but the desire to make a greater impact was intense. I left and had no regrets.
I currently work for Enlightened Generation International, a child protection organization that helps safeguard children from sex molesters and ensures the victims get medical treatment, legal attention and psychological support. We work with all the three sectors for the well-being of the child.
The transition wasn’t easy. I cushioned myself with some business here and there, but I realized working with kids would never be a part-time job. So, I jumped all in. I have never questioned my decision because the children my organization has mentored and saved from pedophiles outweighs any other work I have done.
My work is very intense. It’s very emotionally draining. At some point, I have to see a post-trauma counsellor. It’s tough having to attend to a little baby who has been molested and all their hopes to feel better is on you.
It is not for the faint-hearted either because the families of these pedophiles aren’t pleased with you. They don’t see the harm their person does, but always feel it’s your fault you made them go to jail. So, you literally have to fight with both of your hands – one holding the little abused baby, another wielding away pedophiles and negativity around them. But when all is said and done and the baby is sorted out medically and legally, it brings so much joy. That gives me sleep at night knowing the child is safe.
Enlighten has school/church mentorship programs to enlighten children on their rights and why they should speak up if anyone touches them inappropriately or molests them. We have open talks on sex and its effects, and what to do in the event of rape.
Our organization has been very successful since we are able to pick some of the molestation cases and help the children. We also educate the public to encourage them to speak out when children are being molested. It’s a collective responsibility. When you see something, say something.
My advice to others considering following their passion is: you can change the world in your own small way. Can you imagine working the next 50 years in a job that restricts you from reaching your full potential? Your playing small does not benefit anyone, not even you. Go big. Life is what you make it. Believe in God. He won’t give you what you can’t handle. Go get it!
SiKelly has written a book called “Let’s Talk About Sex” for teens on early sex and its effects. For mentorship bookings, contact SiKelly on +254725009216.