HFAW CHHRP Performing anit-FGM skit
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,
For a very long time we hoped we could bring our CHHRP together with youth leaders to increase our anti-FGM messaging momentum. Just this last holiday season we just accomplished that. The week of December 4th we trained over 60 youth in our popular education (PE) model and how to use it in ending FGM. Our CHHRP joined HFAW staff in challenging the youth. “If I can do much work and I am as old as your mother, how much more can you do” Emphasized Jane, one of the CHHRPs. We could feel the energy in the room as youth made promise after promise not to sit and watch as “our sisters” are destroyed by this archaic practice. At end of workshop they divided themselves into four fired up teams ready for action.
December holiday in Kisii land marks two seasons for the girl child. A one month breakout from school but more importantly it is ‘circumcision’ season. Most FGM activities have gone underground, but parents’ find secret ways to FGM girls since prevalence still stands at 84% in this region. Our trained youth leaders together with our CHHRP decided it is high time to change the direction of this season to make it education rather than focus on the pain of undergoing FGM.
Mass mobilization was done in conjunction with churches for a child and youth conference which will also combine biblical lessons. Over 700 youth and children sat together at Enjoro PAG church watching CHHRP perform anti-FGM drama emphasizing the importance to reject and resist FGM. You will be so impressed seeing so many kids being so attentive in one place.
Youth leaders did not mince words as they broke the secrets that have protected FGM for decades. “Don’t be lied to my young sisters” said Melchzedek, one of the trained youth leader in the 4th PE training. “FGM does not make you beautiful as you are always told. It destroys your beauty.” He pointed out. And they went on to give stories and dramas about FGM. They also shared positive stories of girls elsewhere who never were “circumcised” and are beautiful women. They talked about how FGM destroys the entire communities including a world of men and asked the boy child in the church to stand up against FGM when they hear and see it happening at home.
For one of the participant, Kemunto, this is a day like no other. “I am a form one student at Ensakia secondary school. I have learnt many things from this whole conference. However, lessons about FGM are unforgettable.” She said. “It is such an abuse and how could we know that” said Kemunto. “I will spread the message to others when I go back to school” she said.
Boys who never thought FGM had anything to do with them expressed themselves after the training. “My biggest lesson today is to discover that FGM will affect me just as much as a girl. I have to marry someone one day, I am not willing to allow my potential wife be a victim” said Oiki. Oiki is in grade 6 and represents many boys who made commitments to intervene, do something, and call the chief or police when a crime was planned. That is how HFAW plans to win. That is, framing FGM as a heinous crime, for real. That is what it is and not a glorious ceremony status it has held for decades.
“Mine is to assure you that your coming to our church is not in vain.” Said Moriasi who is the overall conference coordinator to the youth leaders and the CHHRPs. “Thank you for coming and for the educational material you have given us.” He continued. “I know our congregation, (men adults in churches” still live with myths about FGM but when they hear from you and read these materials we have delivered to you, they will differentiate between facts and myths. Personally I know at least 5 actions to take when a child is at risk and I will share this information with others at home.” He emphasized.
“I also feel like an anti-FGM ambassador. When I go back to my home church, I will have something to share. Count on me to spread anti-FGM gospel and child rights.” Said a young participant, Mongina.
Dear partner, this youth and children outreach was possible through a grant from our International Methodist Women and some of your donations here at global giving. You and IMW have had direct impact on the most vulnerable group, youth and children. We know that what we are doing with youth and women 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
Grace Mose-Okong'o (PHD)
A collaboration like No Other-youths and Mothers!
HFAW staff Teresiah emphasizing value of girlchild
so many kids withCHHRP &Youth leaders at PAG churc
Zachary & HFAW CHHRP in action at PAG church
Small group interactions beyond the church confere