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Combat female circumcision in Kenya’s Maasai community

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Combat female circumcision in Kenya’s Maasai community

Kenya 30 Contributors Launched January 17, 2018 Funding ends:30-12-2018

Testimonial

Shared by VOH graduate Faith Selian who runs a mobile health clinic: Two months ago, Faith met 12-year-old Nosim from Torosei, Kajiado. She was 5 months pregnant, and appeared sick and anemic. It was her first visit to the antenatal clinic. As Faith was taking Nosim’s medical history, she asked how and why she got married so young. The young girl narrated her story: "I was forced to drop out of school a year ago, undergo female circumcision, and become the third wife of a 45 year old man. I was a good student, but I grew tired of being teased by the circumcised girls. Most of my classmates were circumcised and married at the age of 8 and 9.” Not a single girl from Nosim's village has completed primary school. Nosim also shared that, although she wishes she had been given a chance to complete school and become a teacher or a nurse, her greatest wish was to marry someone whom she loved. Nosim said that she does not love the "old man" she married and wishes she could have married the young warrior she loved. Faith says that Nosim's story is common in every village that she visits: “I see how my life would have been if Voices of Hope did not give me a chance to become a nurse.”

The challenge 

Female circumcision, also known as Female Genital Cutting (FGC), is common among the Maasai, a semi-nomadic people who reside in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Although the procedure is illegal in Kenya and only a small minority of Kenyans condones Female Genital Cutting, a recent UN estimate suggests that 27 percent of Kenyan women aged 15 to 49 have undergone some form of the practice. Within the Maasai community, however, it remains more common – in some communities every adult Maasai woman counted in a recent survey had undergone female circumcision.

The solution we’re proposing

W4’s field project Voices of Hope is offering young Maasai women living in Kenya’s Kajiado District a way out of female genital cutting through full university scholarships. The young women graduates of this program go on to become active change-makers and leaders in their communities and models for other young women.

 

Faith is one such woman. After completing university and becoming a registered nurse, Faith is now running a mobile health clinic that tours the Maasai plains. In addition to reaching women who would otherwise never receive medical attention, she is also becoming a role model for Maasai girls as an uncircumcised, educated Maasai woman. Most of the villages she visits have never seen a Maasai woman complete primary school. Faith also gives seminars to both men and women about health issues including HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and the effects of FGM and underage childbirth, as well as about the importance of girls’ education. 

The impact of giving

By funding a young Maasai woman’s university scholarship, you can help ensure that she has the chance to establish a sustainable livelihood and become a change maker like Faith. Educated, independent and respected by her peers and elders, she can lead the way in transforming mindsets from within Maasai society and eradicate the harmful practice of female circumcision. 

 

Harness the power of education to help a young Maasai woman escape female genital cutting!

 

 

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University Scholarship

Sponsors one young Maasai woman for one month of university

Donate $ 76
$
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University Scholarship

Sponsors two young Maasai women for one month of university

Donate $ 152
$