"WHY DO YOU SAY FGM IS BAD?"ASKS A PARENT
Awareness Creation meetings and Mobilising the community Five community mobilisers reached out to the communities in the target locations. They made contact with two hundred families in Isinya, Ngong, TransMara and Oloitoktok. The people were reached out in their homes, churches, and chiefs' barasas. The mission contained the message of promoting girl child education and shunning away from Female Genital Mutilation. Its unfortunate that since end of November 2012, when schools closed, about fifty girls have been reported to have been put through FGM, "secretly." As a result of mobilization, fifty one young men were mobilized to participate in a three days anti FGM training which took place in Ngong. Young men admitted that they did not understand why the practice persisted. In addition, sixty women were taken through same anti FGM Training at Ngong Pentecostal Church. They confessed that they had put most of their daughters through the cut so they could make good wives. One of the elderly women said that they did not witness the complications which were associated with FGM as was indicated by the Facilitator in the seminar, instead, she reported that women in their location went into normal labor and did not experience any complications while giving birth. Such were the issues which were encountered during interactions with the community members, particularly with elderly (senior) participants. The women insisted that FGM was not bad practice at all. The participants disclosed that the FGM type 3 was practiced whereby all the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora were removed. Identifying, Registering and Monitoring Girls at Risk The Field officer at TransMara was involved in organising for the Alternative rite of Passage Ceremony which was scheduled for the 19th to 21st of November for about 30 girls in Kilgoris. Female Genital Mutilation, FGM is a cultural practice which is a rite of passage from childhood to womanhood, a sign of respect and maturity. The girl is ready for marriage regardless of age. Female circumcision, is done to enhance the woman's fidelity to her polygamous husband because the woman's self-satisfaction and interest in sex is reduced. Custom demands all girls to marry. Alternative rite of passage involves initiation into adulthood without the cut. This involved identifying girls at risk of being put through FGM, making home visits and inviting the girls for the seminar. Home visits were challenging since the family members did not want to disclose family issues, more so about FGM. The project registered more one hundred and twenty two girls as those girls who were at a big risk of being put through FGM. However, only thirty girls would be allowed to go through the alternative rite of passage ceremony. The meetings were facilitated by a team of Subject Matter Specialists, armed with remarkable relevant experience in community development work and FGM subject in particular. Five of the pupils who were sponsored by the Education Scholarships programme sat for their O- level Exams which ended in November 2012. We anticipate excellent results in April next year which will propel them towards college education. The Director, Ruth Konchellah and staff at Cherish Others would like to express deep heart felt gratitude to you for your valued support towards the project achievements. Good wishes for the season and Happy New Year.