Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP)

05 January 2013
Alternative Rite of PassageThe Alternative Rite of Passage is a 5 day course for girls who are at risk of female circumcision. The course provides information and discussion on health care, relationships, family &household, lifeskills as well as local traditions and cultural practice. The success of the programme rests with the fact that it is taken on by the whole community not just the girls and the course facilitators. The programme has grown rapidly since 2010 when the first 7 communities were supported by FOL. Since then the course itself has been reviewed by the local communities and expanded and many more communities have taken it on. December is the month when girls are most at risk as they come home for the school holidays. In December 2012, over the course of 2 weeks, 40 villages (over 1,850 girls) took part in the ARP courses. The photographs show some of the participants and facilitators and some of the elders who passed on information on culture and traditions. Esther Korir of the Marafiki Women’s group (key drivers of ARP) says “This program is growing so quickly, as communities can see the difference it makes for the girls. The focus is now on them continuing with their education, becoming a good woman and being protected from harmful practices”. She gave the example of Kiptenden village (near the Londiani Hospital) – “Kiptenden had asked me for a few years to hold an ARP, and so we were able to support them in 2012 and they had 52 girls. Their neighbouring community of Nduwa also had 50 girls with the communities really committed to the program’s success”. She went on to say “on behalf of the communities, I really want to thank FOL for their support of this very important program. Without FOL, it would not be possible”. Planning has commenced for 2013, with a focus on reaching communities that have not yet held ARP courses, or are known to be areas resisting change. Alternative Rite of PassageAlternative Rite of Passage