Not This Girl: ActionAid UK Aid Match appeal | ActionAid UK

Photograph posed by actor

Sheldon Moultrie/ActionAid

How your gift could help girls like Esther

The UK government will match your donation pound for pound. So we can help twice as many girls who need us.

Or choose your own amount to give


Not this girl. Not any girl.

From the moment they are born, girls face many forms of violence. In Kenya, one in every three girls experience sexual violence during childhood.

Watch this video to see how we’re funding local women’s groups to challenge this violence every day.


Extreme poverty makes women and girls even more vulnerable to abuse. Survivors often can’t afford medical or legal support and are left alone to deal with the emotional and physical impacts of the abuse.

  • Girls’ bodies are often seen as the property of men. Many girls drop out of school due to being forced to marry while they’re still children, and becoming pregnant.
  • In some of Kenya’s poorest regions, one in four children is HIV-positive. AIDS has wiped out whole generations, often leaving young girls to raise their siblings.
  • Women and girls living in the poorest parts of Kenya are subjected to rape, regular beatings and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence. A tiny minority of survivors report cases of violence to the police, because of the stigma, because they don’t know their legal rights or don’t trust the police.

“Without support, I would not have been able to afford treatment for my daughter when she was raped”.

Margaret, Kilifi county, Kenya


What is ActionAid doing to help girls facing sexual violence?

  • ActionAid supports local women’s groups and networks to prevent and respond to violence against girls and help get justice for sexual crimes.
  • These committed and courageous groups are especially trained to recognise signs of abuse, report it, help girls get back to school, and raise awareness within their community.
  • Women’s groups run community forums to build links with the police, paralegals, and children’s departments to better support girls surviving violence.
  • ActionAid sets up girls’ clubs — safe spaces for girls to share their experiences, learn about their rights and build the confidence to report violence and abuse.
  • ActionAid trains government officials, police, health workers and legal advisers how to best protect girls.

Joyce, 50 (picured below), is a volunteer paralegal for a women-led Access to Justice project in Kilifi, Kenya. She has two children and one grandchild. After being raped and becoming pregnant as a girl, she dropped out of school. Now Joyce helps rape survivors to report abuse to their local village chief and to the police, and takes them to hospital and follows their case through to prosecution.

When Joyce isn’t in the field helping girls, she’s running sessions to help women and girls understand their rights.


Telling Esther’s story

Esther and her family gave us full permission to share their story, but to protect Esther’s anonymity we have changed certain identifying details, and we have not used her photograph. The photograph accompanying her story at the top and bottom of this page is of a girl called Jenny who has not experienced abuse. Jenny and her mother gave their full informed consent for us to take photos of her to be used in this way.


Read more about our Not This Girl appeal

Changing the conversation about rape and sexual assault

7 March 2018, Wangu Kanja

How is ActionAid tackling exploitation and abuse of girls in Kenya? Find out as we launch our three-month appeal, Not This Girl.

Read more

Behind the scenes: storytelling, transparency and child protection

7 March 2018, Helen Pattinson

Watch our behind the scenes video where we explain how we’re protecting the identity of young survivors of violence in our Not This Girl appeal.

Read more

5 links between poverty and violence against women

7 March 2018, Danielle Cornish-Spencer

Living in poverty increases the risk of women and girls experiencing violence. Find out why, and how you can support ActionAid’s Not This Girl appeal.

Read more


Donate today and help protect girls like Esther

Or choose your own amount to give…



Page updated 22 November 2019