A five-day retreat for abused Kenyan men entered its third day Monday at the foot of Mount Kenya.
According to the event organizers – Maendeleo ya Wanaume (Mawe) – the aim is to have the victims of domestic abuse and violence seek God’s intervention, even as they share their experiences and find possible solutions and forge away forward.
“We are calling upon all men who are undergoing all forms of mistreatment, especially husband battery, in their marriages to join us as we fast, pray, brainstorm, comfort and console one another for five days, starting 9th to 13th November,” reads the invitation in part.
Maendeleo ya Wanaume (Mawe) Chairman Nderitu Njoka, who is one of the event organizers, said men are increasingly becoming an endangered species and he is not going to sit back and watch as his kind suffer.
“Enough is enough. We can’t take it anymore. We have to find solutions to husband battery. All men are invited because if your friend has been battered, then you might be the next one on the chopping board,” he said, adding that the retreat will coincide with Mawe’s 6th anniversary, which is usually marked on every 11th of November every year since 2014.
While urging ‘sat on’ men to be tough, Njoka said this year’s theme for Mawe anniversary is ‘Kaa Chonjo’ (stay alert).
“Many men are silently suffering in homes, especially in bedrooms, where many have their conjugal rights denied or rationed. For the five days, the members will be just praying, sharing about their lives and seeking divine intervention. In between we will do marriage counseling and hear confessions from our battered brothers then give views on how to assist them henceforth,” he said as quoted by Crazy Monday.
One message Mr Njoka intends to share with the men is to urge them to go slow on alcohol, and learn to remain alert even in sleep- for most of them live with dangerous women.
“Those who won’t make it to the slopes of Mount Kenya we will be with them in spirit and we urge them to fast, pray and avoid sex with their wives in solidarity with those in attendance,” added Njoka.
Members planning to attend are also urged to wear traditional gear, carry a Bible/Quran and notebooks to take notes.
While denying that he is against women empowerment, Njoka said for women to gain, men must not necessarily lose as many misguided feminist preach.
“We can all work together to strengthen the institution of marriage and family. Women must stop pushing their men against the wall and forcing them to live in fear thus developing low self-esteem,” he said.