Providing a Safe Haven for the “Desert Flowers”

V. l. n. r.- Bernd Quoß (Geschäftsführer des Krankenhauses Waldfriede), Evelyn Brenda (Beraterin, ADRA Deutschland), Waris Dirie, Birgid Zoschnik, Dr. Roland Scherer (Chefarzt und Leiter des Desert Flower Center)
L to R. Bernd Quoß, CEO of the Waldfriede Hospital; Evelyn Brenda Project Coordinator, ADRA Deutschland; Waris Dirie, Birgid Zoschnik, Dr. Roland Scherer, Chief Physician and Director of the Desert Flower Center.

Waris Dirie is a Somali girl from a humble background who rose to become a world top model. She shocked the world when she came out to speak about circumcision more so for revealing that she had been circumcised. Since the release of her movie The Desert Flower in 2009, after the book of the same title she has become the face against female circumcision. She’s an activist and an ambassador against female genital mutilation.

Waris was recently in Germany to launch the hospital named after her book and movie, “Desert Flower Center Waldfried” in Berlin. Although the objective was to launch of the centre, she did something else she might not even have noticed. She put a spot light on an amazing Kenyan woman from Darmstadt that many of us have never heard of, nor of her extra ordinary work in helping girls and women.

Evelyn Brenda, is a Kenyan woman based in Darmstadt. Evelyn born in 1968 in Kenya grew up expecting the dehumanising act to be performed to her as it was the tradition of her people, luckily her father wouldn’t have any of it. Evelyn was rescued by her own father who was against the practise. Unfortunately, many girls aren’t as lucky as Evelyn.

In 2000, she decided to do something for the girls and women who aren’t as lucky as she was. Together with Adventistischen Entwicklungs- und Katastrophenhilfe (ADRA) she started the „Kajiado Rescue Centre“. The Centre offers a haven for 160 girls and women to escape FGM, early marriages or abusive marriages. Girls who escape to the Centre not only get food and shelter but also the possibility to complete their Primary education funded by the Centre.

The donations from ADRA and other partners have also helped the group offer surgery for the women who experience complications related to the FGM and Fistula. Since 2012, 20 women have been able to enjoy this privilege.

Last year she was awarded the Deutsche Engagementpreis for her exemplary work with the girls and women in Kenya.

Evelyn is a project coordinator with ADRA and lives in Weiterstadt near Darmstadt with her husband Franklin Brenda.

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