On this international day of remembrance let us not forget all those girls who face genital cutting/mutilation in a few weeks. Unfortunately we have received reports of many girls who have already been cut partly due to Covid and school closures. Being in school offers some protection to girls at risk of FGM and forced "marriage", whereas back at home with such uncertainty girls are forcibly cut so the family will receive dowry or "bride price" as a way out of poverty.
Below is a picture of one of our training sessions with Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA,s) many of whom are also cutters. Everlyn, manager and CEO of our sister organisation on the ground in Pokot, CICR (centre for indigenous child rights), is demonstrating the problems and dangers of childbirth caused by FGM/C and early child-bearing. Note the size of the young girl playing her part in the exercise. She is fairly typical age and size of the girls facing the cut, around 9-16 years.
The TBA,s are local midwives who assist at all the births in their locality where there is no other health facility. Their work is hugely challenging in remote villages. Our organisation was involved some years ago in a tragic case of maternal and infant mortality (i.e. both mother and baby died). The unfortunate mother arrived at the main health facility in the area, a mission hospital, in "obstructed labour". This is a case whereby the baby will not pass through the mother's pelvis, the mother may have laboured for up to 3 days by which time the baby will have died and the mother will be in a very poor state. The mother and her husband had travelled around 20 kms by motorbike (both shared the motorbike with the driver; common practice) after having walked many many miles from her village before reaching a centre with transport.
The mother's referral to hospital was far too late to save her life as once stabilised, sepsis then set in a couple of weeks later; may her soul R.I.P.
Using practical teaching methods is highly effective. The TBA,s are very engaged and thoroughly enjoy the seminars and workshops. Invariably at the end of the 3 day residential any TBA,s who are also cutters will declare their decision to abandon performing FGM/C. Follow up from our members on the ground in Pokot reliably tell us that most have remained steadfast in ending FGM in their villages.
We are now appealing urgently for help to fund this year's alternative ceremony (ARP) and the TBA and Men's forum. 200 girls are scheduled to participate this December/late November.
We urgently need £6000 to fund this major event.
Any amount you can afford will be hugely appreciated, our usual fund raising stalled due to Covid.
We can't do it without you:
£10 will pay for 2 girls to attend the anti-FGM "camp" for 1 day
£30 will fund 6 girls
£100 will pay for 30 girls to attend for the whole week.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts but especially on behalf of all those girls you are saving from FGM by donating.