Recent workshop for our female genital mutilation (FGM) Abandonment Programme

06 February 2015

FGM Abandonment Programme WorkshopWe recently ran a facilitators workshop for our female genital mutilation (FGM) Abandonment Programme. It was inspiring to listen to the team feedback on the courses we ran for girls in Londiani during 2014.

More than 4,500 girls have taken part in our abandonment programme since 2009. Feedback includes many stories of the real impact this programme is having.

This week we heard the story of one young girl keen to stay in school to study public health. However, she knew that once she returned home for the school holidays in December she would be expected to follow the circumcision path taken by her older sisters. But her family and her village had taken on the Alternative Rite of Passage and instead she celebrated with her friends and family, didn’t have to be afraid and looked forward to going back to school for a new term.

FGM is illegal in Kenya, but it happens because it is embedded into traditional culture as an important transition from being a girl to becoming a woman. To change this, we have to work with the community to find a different way of doing things.

We support a five-day life skills and cultural training programme for girls who are at risk. The aim is to provide an option – called an Alternative Rite of Passage – for families to choose instead of female genital cutting. And the programme is led by the communities to which those families belong: local women and men prepare the course, the materials and give the training.

One community who had planned circumcision for girls this year changed their minds and supported the Alternative Rite of Passage programme. Girls sang and danced at their graduation and spoke of their plans to stay in school and continue their education – something that may not have been possible before the programme took place.

With your support, we can reach even more communities and end female circumcision.