Dear ‘Friend of Hope’
From Rhobi being crowned ‘Queen’ to being taught pioneering anti-FGM practices from the UNFPA, what a busy Spring it has been! As many of you already know, girls are increasingly being cut outside of ‘cutting season’ as members of their family try to evade the local police authorities. Our sources have informed us of many cases where girls are due to be cut in Summer and consequently Spring has been all about preparation.
After 3 years of operation, Hope has built a reputation on the ground as a diligent and effective grassroots anti-FGM organisation. We’re incredibly proud of this reputation, but we have dreamt of a more nation-wide presence to raise us much-needed funds and give us a foot in the door with officials who have power to pass real legislation regarding gender based violence. Well it appears that our dreams are being answered as Rhobi was crowned Queen at Cloud Media’s “Queen of 2019” event in Dar Es Salaam. Cloud Media is one of the biggest media companies in Africa and we can’t wait to commence our cooperation programme that will allow us to sustainably expand Hope’s operations.
Turning to our long-established partnerships, mid-May Hope attended a UNFPA ‘Capacity Building and Financial Training Day’ to streamline our operations. UNFPA representatives often visit our safe houses with local police gender desk officials and we really appreciate these visits as they help us coordinate more effectively in both saving girls at-risk from FGM and ensuring that they return to a safe environment. Currently, Hope is still housing 92 girls, 88 of which are girls who could not be reconciled with their families because their guardians refused to sign a legal contract promising to not bring harm to the girl.
Lastly, we’ve really enjoyed seeing the progress being made against FGM at the Women’s Deliver Conference in 2019 with President Kenyatta pledging to bring FGM to an end in Kenya by 2022. Director of Hope’s documentary, Giselle Portenier, spoke passionately about her fight and if you would like to hear her presentation you can do so here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQeUGZHfqLU(1:02:25 mark).
As always, we thank you for your support of Hope’s safe houses. As an organisation with no consistent donation partner, your help is what allows us to save girls from FGM and we are incredibly grateful.
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