Apply to Join
Feb 19, 2019

Having Fathers on Board, Not such a bad Idea!

Mr. Yebesh Orina addressing the girls
Mr. Yebesh Orina addressing the girls

Dear Friend, Colleagues, and supporters

Despite many advances that have been made in the overall sexual reproductive health, information on reproductive health among female teenagers could be improved. According to the African traditional culture, educating girls on sexual and reproductive is considered women’s responsibilities. Yet, men play critical roles in the ability of women or young girls in seeking sex and reproductive health services. They make decisions whether and when teenage girls can seek healthcare services. The result of not involving men has led to challenges like high cases of early unwanted teenage pregnancies, increase in the prevalence of female genital mutilation, spread of sexually transmitted diseases and high levels of school drop-out. It is in this spirit that HFAW decided to mark the Zero Tolerance for FGM International Day by holding a school outreach at Menyenya Primary, Kijauri Town, Nyansiongo.

HFAW has done many school outreaches since 2015. However, this was like no other. On this day, we prioritized men talking to teenage girls on sexual and reproductive health. Admittedly, we knew that it was risky move from a cultural perspective. Nevertheless, the availability of willing and able male community health and human rights promoters (CRHPP) made the activity successful.

It was so pleasing to see how men took the initiative to lead the sessions. They educated the girls about the emotional, physical, and mental changes they will have to go through during adolescence.

“At some point in your growth and development, you will experience an increased sense of consciousness and need for independence. This is normal and should not stress nor pressure you to get engaged in early intimate relationships or consent to FGM. Stay assured of our support and get closer to your parents as well since their support is equally important in protecting you from the negative eventualities of the adolescence stage like unwanted teenage pregnancies”, said Yebesh Orina.

One girl asked, “I would like to know why girls experience monthly periods?”

Admittedly, prior to the event, few of them had knowledge regarding menstrual health. However, they were assured that it is a normal biological process that every girl experiences. They were assured that it is a sign of development and they should maintain high standards of hygiene during this period and avoid stress.

Another girl remarked, “Why is it that my grandmothers claims that if a girl is not circumcised, she cannot give birth?”

This question was a good sign that the girls were willing to open up to the CRRHPs. Topics related to sexual and reproductive health, especially FGM, are often expressed in low tones and secrecy. They were told, contrary to the information they had, FGM puts one at risk of numerous infections and health complications that will negatively affect one’s ability to give birth.

Not Just Girls alone

The boys’ group was equally interactive. Just like the girl’s group, they were taught and given an opportunity to ask questions. The CRRHPs explained the changes they are likely to experience during adolescence. They were told that it is during such a time that they should take care of themselves and restrain from engaging in early intimate relationships that will distract them from their studies hence preventing them from achieving their life goals. Also, they were asked to take care of their female peers who are equally experiencing pressure because of the physical and emotional changes that occur during adolescence. Then, they were asked to be at the forefront in protecting their sisters and female classmates from being subjected to FGM.

Keeping girls safe is the priority of HFAW. Gladly, this event provided a platform for HFAW to continue showing its commitment in protecting girls in the country. To us, it is a calling and regardless of the challenges that may come with it, we are proud of the achievements we have made. We are humbled by the support we have received from you. We do not take your generosity and sense of good-will for granted. We ask you to continue sharing this information with friends and families so that they can see how you have impacted lives and encourage them to participate in the same.

Mrs. Gladys answering questions asked by the girls
Mrs. Gladys answering questions asked by the girls
The CHHRPs interacting with the students
The CHHRPs interacting with the students
Miss Leah, the acting CEO, addressing the students
Miss Leah, the acting CEO, addressing the students

Links:

Jan 22, 2019

A Jubilant HFAW Cellebrates 5Years Milestone

CHHRP Celebrating HFAW @5
CHHRP Celebrating HFAW @5

As Hope Foundation for African Women turned 5 years on 19th December 2018, it was a milestone celebration for the Community Health and Human Rights Promoters (CHHRP). Sharing their five-years-journey’s achievements and challenges of their gender advocacy work to change attitudes, practises and behaviours towards ending Female genital mutilation and gender based violence.

Gladys Nyasuguta, one of the CHHRP’s and a survivor of FGM practise, besides gaining the boldness to share her story, conduct community outreaches, she has also gained the skills to facilitator the trainings. She is able to stand today as a co-facilitator to train men and women on anti-FGM/GBV, “Am so happy today that am standing before you, the esteemed men of our community, among you, my husband being present, for us to talk and discuss about FGM and GBV. I thank all of you for hearing and accepting our call. We thank you for the support you have shown us even though from a distance. But today, you presences here is a confirmation that we are ready to walk together to the path of ending FGM….”

Lydia Moranga “…When we talk of change in behaviour, attitude and practises, it begins with me and you. Myself, I was a cutter, before HFAW reached out to me. Cutting because I need to earn a living and support my family. But since I got trained and become part of CHHRP, I stopped cutting. I realised the effects of my action. And I discovered that I am much better now, through the economic empowerment project of HFAW. I DISCOVERED INNER PEACE KNOWING THAT AM NOT HURTING ANY SINGLE GIRL ANY MORE, INSTEAD, AM PROTECTING THEM FROM THE HURT. Am so happy to see all of you hear (referring to the 25 men being trained), my heart is strengthen. Who said that we will be able to meet all our needs by waiting to cut a little girl’s piece of body? There is nothing of economic gain that we get from cutting our daughters. To our husbands, hear me out!  It is total hurt. Let us stop, and stop it!”

Martha Mariaka “Since I was a young lady, I was very shy to stand before my mates and talk. I got married, had my children but still couldn’t even sit down to talk with them. Imagine, how could it be possible to stand before fellow women, men, young people and children to talk about anti-FGM/GBV, sexual reproductive health, human rights and economic empowerment? How? This questioning was overcame by HFAW 5 years ago when I was trained as one of CHHRP.  And today, we count at least 20 schools, 15000 students, 4000parents and 250 teachers that we have reached out with ant—FGM/GBV and number of girls that we have directly saved from planned FGM practise against them. Only 3 out of 7 men that were trained accompany us. Today am happy to know that 25 more men will be joining us in this journey…”

Your support dear friends, donors and partners, has made this possible. Has equipped the CHHRP with the knowledge and power they need to continue carrying on this work. With a total of 52 trained and equipped community health and human rights promoters now, the journey still continues.

FGM Zero Tolerance day, February 6th is coming. Join us as CHHRP take to the streets and all corners of the Kisii community to advocate for zero tolerance of FGM.

Thank you so much for you continued support. We continue to appeal for your advice, financial and technical support. Please continue sharing HFAW’s work with your friends and family.

Thank you again for what you have done to promote this cause.

Sincerely and with gratitude

Gladys, Facilitating the 25 Men's training
Gladys, Facilitating the 25 Men's training
Lydia, sharing her milestone as a CHHRP
Lydia, sharing her milestone as a CHHRP
Martha, sharing her milestone as CHHRP
Martha, sharing her milestone as CHHRP
CHHRPs say to "Together we are Winning"
CHHRPs say to "Together we are Winning"
Jan 7, 2019

Leaving No Men Behind to End FGM

Having a class Dynamic
Having a class Dynamic

Dear friends and supporters,

We are pleased to share with you our work on ending female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) during December 2018. 

On 19th to 20th December, using Popular education Model, HFAW trained 25 men living with FGM survivors on understanding the sexual, health and other issues that come with surviving FGM practice and how to address them.

During the training, Haron, one of the participants said, “Watching this video showing how it is done, is the most disturbing thing I have seen in this year. We fathers we just say to our daughters, ‘Go, and be cut!’ or to our wives, ‘take them there!’  We have never seen how it is cut. This is real torture we are doing as Abagusii community. Some mothers do not even do it out of willingness, but do it because they want to please us men! This is not right at all. From today am not going to sit and watch my daughters and nieces and friends succumb to this torture. If we men roar, FGM will scatter! “

After the training, the participants had a chance to have Egesa radio recording on 30th December, so as to reach out to the entire community and Nation through the local broadcasting.

We apologise the recording was done in Kisii language, so as to reach out to local community in a more understandable way

However, you can still follow and listen to this through https://youtu.be/v4ymCqpioqM. The beauty in the tone of their voices tell it all

In the audio, the first voice is Jackie Barongo, from Egesa Fm broadcaster,

2nd is Thomas, a retired nurse and one of the participant saying,” I did not have knowledge about the dangers of FGM. But after the training and listening to the testimonials told by the community health promoters, I am, more than ready to join efforts in ending FGM. We have the power to end this.

Then Ariga, “Am so grateful for this training. Especially how it has been conducted.  I fully understand my role in ending FGM. And I call upon fellow men, that we reach out to those men who do not know yet, reinforce on the FGM policy we have learned about, so that those that are still practising FGM out of ignorance to stop.

Gladys Nyasuguta, FGM survivor and one of the HFAW community health promoters, sharing health complications she experienced trauma and major tears during delivery

And lastly, Joyce Amoyi, HFAW grassroots officer talking about the school, church, and communities outreaches that as a team with community health and human rights promoters carry out.

Dear partner , this training was possible through a grant from our International Methodist Women, Global Media Campaign to End FGM and some of your donations here at Global Giving. You, GMC and IMW have had direct impact on Men and Girls. We know that what we are doing now to bring Men too as advocators is uprooting FGM slowly but surely and as you can see we could not do without your support. We continue to appeal for your advice, financial and technical support. Please continue sharing HFAW’s work with your friends and family.

Thank you again for what you have done to promote this cause.

Sincerely and with gratitude

Leah Wandera

Dr. Grace, Facilitating on the FGM Health Effects
Dr. Grace, Facilitating on the FGM Health Effects
Class Web of life activity and  Closure Picture
Class Web of life activity and Closure Picture
Egesa FM Recording for Broadcast
Egesa FM Recording for Broadcast
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.