In the month of June,July and August lots of emphasis was put on the education of the girls and women on FGM (FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION). Despite medics talking about the effects of FGM, It is still practiced by various tribes in Kenya. Informal settlements have all kinds and tribes as inhabitants. People are still practicing their traditions and in this case FGM remains a hard nut to crack but through education and having support programs around, girls who have been taught on its effects are taking front stand in saying no to the practice and seeking help when the crisis occurs. Safe spaces has saved around 20girls from the knife through educating the girls and the parents since the the beginning of the year.
Effects of FGM taught during this month include
-Death-caused by over bleeding
-lack of sexual pleasure
-Anemia due to loss of blood
-HIV/AIDS transmission-in traditional cases where people share the cutting knives.
At the end of the topic,10 parents volunteered to be dialogue pioneers with other parents to stop this practice .50 Girls vowed not to participate in the practice and in cases of threatening by parents the matter should be treated as a criminal case and let law take its course. However the issue is to be treated with a lot of care to avoid confrontations and misunderstandings in the community as this is meant to be a social change and not a rebellion against people’s culture.
“I HAVE LEARNT A LOT OF THINGS ABOUT GIRLS THAT I DIDN’T KNOW,I KNEW FGM WAS NORMAL AS MY MUM SAID,I HAVE LAERNT THAT IT IS HORRIBLE FOR A GIRL, I'M GLAD THAT MY MUM KNOWS THIS NOW AND I'M FREE TO ENJOY MY LIFE IN FUTURE”
MARY 12YRS OLD
It is only through Education, and holistic education, that there can be a dim of light in the slum. What we are doing is just part as we don’t know for how long. It is not a one day thing, nor a 1 month, nor a 1 year thing but it is a continual struggle for this dream of having an elite community out of a shanty community embracing the change. We hope to continue joining hands together with like-minded people to continue this journey. As together we can walk far, but alone you can only walk fast.
17th sept. 2012
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