Apply to Join

Train 50 Anti-FGM Youth Ambassadors to End FGM

by Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW)
Train 50 Anti-FGM Youth Ambassadors to End FGM
People learn more when they are having fun-
People learn more when they are having fun-

Dear Friend, collegue and supporter,

For a while, Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW) dreamed of training 5o youth ambassadors to help spread the anti-FGM messages through our effective models of popular education (PE) and social change communication (SCC). We believe that youth easily get the information and rapidly embrace change. They are the most creative, energetic, enthusiastic and underutilized resource available in our communities. They and the children are also the most affected by FGM. FGM is one of the most humiliating violations of the dignity of women and girls.

HFAW dreamed of nipping this practice at its bud and there is no better way of nipping it than training youth and engaging them as anti-FGM ambassadors across the county. We had asked ourselves the question, if ordinary women who are semi illiterate can do this much community work, how much more can youth do?  The answer was no brainer.

A few months ago we invited you to help us raise funds for this cause. Eight donors graciously helped us raise $910. We did not meet our goal, so we went on to seek more funds and were again graciously granted by The Girl Generation a total of $10,000 with a portion of it going to this training and an individual donor Bonnie contributed to this cause as well.

Just this month of December 5 through 7, this dream came true. We invited 60 youth leaders from across Nyamira County to our training with hopes to receive 50 participants. All the 60 invitees registered. Through our participatory engagement youths covered such topics such as pillars of PE, principles, values and methodologies, FGM inside out, anitFGM law, child protective policy and strategies of SCC including the Do no Harm.

The three day training was vigorous, energetic, and just proved that we were right. Youths are smart, creative and just excluded. After the training many of them committed to ending FGM no matter what it takes. One youth challenged the others, “if our mothers have been able to do this(meaning reaching so many students), how much more can we do?. We could feel energy in the room. Another one who is a young teacher shared “FGM is one of the topics I am supposed to teach but I have such a hard time teaching because the girls and boys begin to giggle when I begin to speak. I end up giving up; now I know what to do, can’t wait to be back at school,.” Another youth said that “I had no idea about what FGM really is. We hear about it and casually treat it and let it continue; but from today I have a mission, FGM cannot be done in my village.”   Another youth said, “People do not even know what is in the anti-FGM law, I hear this word ‘egesagane’ all the time but never thought it was against the law to use it. If we took the law seriously everyone in Kisii will be in jail.” There was a lot of commitment and emotion during and after the training and an action plan for future action.

WE discussed the root causes of FGM and its impact not just on the girl but the entire communities. Youth were shocked to realize that men are real direct consumers of FGM since they deal with the challenges women experience either as life givers or intimate partners. Using positive messaging and hands on action plans youth were challenged on how they can become real change makers in their communities. Youths were also engaged with the anti-FGM policy as well as child protective policy and practical ways to dialogue with people on these issues. It is not just about criminalization but also about critical consciousness raising for people to realize for themselves why FGM must be abandoned.

We also added a component of training them on how to be self driven in their own economic empowerment agenda. The training was crowned by the HFAW community health and rights promoters, women who are their mothers sharing stories of what work they are currently involved with in schools, churches and communities and have reached over 16 schools reaching over 6000 students. This was such a climax, HFAW has never been so proud at an accomplishment.

Youth divided themselves according to 4 regions of origin so that they can remain in touch and be able to put the plan into action. Each team elected three officials who will ensure the team remains in contact with each other and with HFAW. The promise is to meet in end of January and beginning of February to share what they would have accomplished and what plan they have to spread the message going forward and what kind of mentoring is needed from HFAW.

Barely a week later the trained youth leaders from one of the regions in conjunction with our actively involved community human and rights promoters and HFAW staff gave a highly charged anti-FGM messaging to a forum packed with over 700 youth. Thye highlited key messaging of key causes of FGM, its end has come, its harms, and sections of the law such as insulting someone as "Egesagane" must stop as it is deamining.  At the end of the day many youth spoke up stating how they will join the movement to end FGM in Nyamira County. This forum brought to live what we have always known. If we engage youth and children they will form a formidable anti-FGM movement which will end it in One generation.

Dear Friend, supporter and colleague, There is no better time for you to become a part of this movement. Your advice, donation and support is more critical than ever before. Help us get this momentum going forward to end this heinous practice forever. So much has happened in just two weeks! From training to action. Throughout 2018, more actions are planned to work with the trained youth to spread the message across the county.

Thank you again for what you have done to move this cause forward.

Sincerely and with gratitude

Grace Mose-Okong’o

Youth learning about Popular Education
Youth learning about Popular Education
CHHRP Joyce sharing positive stories of their work
CHHRP Joyce sharing positive stories of their work
HFAW Facilitator training through dialogue
HFAW Facilitator training through dialogue
Newly trained youth hit road to church to end FGM
Newly trained youth hit road to church to end FGM
HFAW CHHRP and Newly trained youth together @churc
HFAW CHHRP and Newly trained youth together @churc
Chruc packed with young people
Chruc packed with young people
Youth will have most impact on young people
Youth will have most impact on young people

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Boys pledging to protect their sisters against FGM
Boys pledging to protect their sisters against FGM

Female genital mutilation is passed from one generation to the next generation like a baton in a relay race. However, this can end in one generation if the generation is empowered to stop the harmful practice.

“My mother is from Kisii ethnic group while my father is from Luhya ethnic group in Kenya and Luhyas do not cut their girls and women. I remember the incidence happened during one of August holiday when I visited my grandmother in our Kisii rural home. One day she told me she will take me somewhere in the evening. I was excited but little did I know she was to take me for a cut. This happened in the night at 10.00p.m “, shared Kerubo* in one of our school outreaches.

Kerubo’s case was sensitive because her grandmother had lured her into being mutilated without her knowledge or even the knowledge of her parents. The incidence led to her mother being battered and chased away by the husband when he came to know about it. Kerubo’s cut led to an infection that had to be treated in hospital. This is how the father came to know that the daughter had been cut. He blamed Kerubo’s mother for not ‘taking care’ of their daughter due to the fact that she was not there to prevent their daughter from undergoing FGM.

“Will my performance in school be affected due to the fact that I was cut? what about my menstruation, is it true that it will it take longer than usual since I am cut?” She asked. We were keen to assure her that all will be well and that her performance will improve as long as she works hard in school. We assured her that through emotional support and the training she would soar to greater heights and heal emotionally. The above questions were a clear indicator of the myths and facts surrounding FGM and which could easily affect self esteem of a growing youth.

The youth trainees in primary school were keen to understand that it was up to them to say no to FGM as they are the future generation. “I now understand that if I say no to FGM and help my sisters not to undergo the same, I will be a great Anti-FGM ambassador”, said one of the boys at the end of the outreach session. “I will never allow my daughter to go through the cut, thank you Hope Foundation for African Women for the sensitization”, said one of the teachers.

HFAW has so far reached over 14 primary schools and sensitized over 5,000 pupils, over 500 parents and over 100 teachers on child protection and child abuse and GBV with a focus on FGM. Both the boys and girls, women and men agreed that they are consumers of FGM and it directly affects them.

In addition to reaching primary schools HFAW aims to recruit 50 youth ambassadors in churches and in youth groups. Each youth will also reach 50 more youth with Anti-FGM messages. The youth in Nyamira county are vibrant and very active learners, from our experience, they grasp issues easily and embrace change rapidly. We therefore appeal to your partnership through your kind donation that will enable us train these vibrant youth anti-FGM ambassadors in Nyamira County to take part in ending FGM in one generation. Thank you for your support and being with us every step of the way as we strive to end FGM.

Dialogue with pupils on dangers of FGM
Dialogue with pupils on dangers of FGM
Girls being taught about their human rights
Girls being taught about their human rights
Round table discussions about SGBV
Round table discussions about SGBV
Girl telling her peers all she has learnt on GBV
Girl telling her peers all she has learnt on GBV
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
-HFAW Teresiah-when youth interact  with youth-th
-HFAW Teresiah-when youth interact with youth-th

FGM Can End in One Generation: Youth insights in our work

‘I have learnt that I have role in protecting my sister against FGM’ said one youth leader during one of our school outreach feedback session.

According to Population and Housing Census 2009, over 70% in Nyamira County are Youth aged between 18 to 35. The prevalence rates of FGM in NyamiraCounty stubbornly stand at 84% with drastic impact on youth and children. The practice of FGM as a culture has for a long time been passed from one generation to the next as a social norm in the community.

‘I will tell my friends from other schools about that we have been taught to say no to FGM and they should also not allow to be cut’ said Sarah* a pupil from Getri Primary school

Male youth have realized that they are potential consumers of both immediate and long-term effects of FGM. “I have no problem marrying a girl who is not “circumcised” said Momanyi. “But we have to guard against stigmatizing girls who have already gone through the cut”, he continued noting that it is not their fault.‘My place is very rural and remote, I now already feel like an Anti-FGM ambassador, my community needs to be reached with this information’ said Ruth who is a youth among trainees in social change communication skills to end FGM.

From our experience mentoring youth, we have discovered that they grasp issues easily and accept change rapidly. This has opened a window of opportunity to end FGM among youth between 18-35. These youth are in schools, at home, in youth groups and churches.

HFAW is successfully using Popular Education and the positive social change communication to end FGM with a special focus among the youth. HFAW has been able to reach over 5000 pupils who are under 18 years in over 10 schools within Borabu sub county, Nyamira County. Dialogue with youth has brought new energy and motivation in ending FGM. The process has been unveiling truths about FGM which were traditionally shielded in secrecy. Youth and children now also know how to prevent the incidences by reporting to relevant authority in schools and at home.

To increase the momentum of ending FGM by engaging more youth we recently launched a call to action initiative to train 50 Anti-FGM ambassadors in the entire Nyamira County. These youth will take lead in sharing the Anti-FGM messaging across the county. Youth also have an advantage of rapid use of social media among themselves and beyond. Their motivation to make their community safe spaces free of FGM is unparalleled. We invite you to invest in our youth by making a donation that will allow us train them as Anti-FGM ambassadors.

Training youth ambassadors is only possible because of donations from our esteemed supporters. We believe that this initiative is a game changer in ending FGM in Nyamira and Kenya. You have helped us raise $850 dollars. Training one youth will require a minimum of $250 dollars and if we can reach $5000 dollars we will begin to train our first 20 youths. Your donation counts in ending FGM in one generation. Share this information and make a request to your family and friends.

We thank you for your believe in our cause and our commitment to end FGM in Nyamira and Kenya

Mothers mentoring girls
Mothers mentoring girls
HFAW Agnes-Mentoring via friendship and laugh
HFAW Agnes-Mentoring via friendship and laugh
Ruth giving her story during a visit by GlobalGivi
Ruth giving her story during a visit by GlobalGivi
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW)

Location: Nairobi, Kiambu County - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @HFAW2015
Project Leader:
Dr. Grace Bonareri Mose Okong'o
Nairobi, Nairobi County Kenya

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW) that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

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.