ALTERNATIVE RITE OF PASSAGE 2015
Another successful Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) ceremony was held in a new village, Nyang’aita in Masol district.
Masol is a remote part of West Pokot bordering Turkana County, a huge desert.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) prevalence in this area is almost 100%. We at Beyond FGM and Kepsteno Rotwo were the first people ever to visit Masol to talk about FGM. People were genuinely unaware of the negative health consequences of FGM or that it is now illegal in Kenya.
We were warmly welcomed by the community with almost 200 participants in 4 days of seminars and workshops followed by a big public Alternative ceremony for the girls which acknowledges to the community at large that these girls/young women have now graduated to adult status and will therefore not be always considered a child which carries much stigmatization. Hopefully more girls will attend school in the future but of course there is the issue of school fees. The people of Masol are largely nomadic. They are marginalised and poverty stricken which makes finding school fees a big challenge!
We had a full day of training with the men , including the youth, a full day with the women and 2 days with the girls.
Miraculously after around one week of us being in Nyang’aita a 20 strong committee has been formed to end FGM from within their community!
We shall try to support the community in the coming months by visiting, offering moral support and enlisting a team to join our Community Based Organisation (CBO), Kepsteno Rotwo meaning abandon the knife.