What is FGM?
FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is the partial or complete cutting of the female genital organs.
FGM is a common tradition applied to girls between 8 and 15 years old and occurs in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. More than 200 million girls and women, alive today, have been cut.
Why do parents do this to their daughters?
FGM is a cultural tradition and, contrary to what many people think, is not prescribed in any religion. There are various reasons why parents have their daughters cut such as: condition for marriage; prevent girls from having sex early; reducing of libido; status; social acceptance and so on.
FGM must stop!
FGM is a gross violation of human rights. It entails enormous health risks. It can lead to serious bleeding, infections, cysts, urinary, menstrual and sex problems, complications during childbirth with the possible death of mother and child. It brings no benefit to women themselves. They have to live a lifetime with physical pain and psychological complaints and usually do not receive any medical or psychological care. It is unusual to openly talk about problems so many women suffer in silence. Some of the women do not even know that this is where their complaints stem from. Many men are also unaware of the enormous health risks of FGM.
In addition to medical complications, this tradition often results in girls being married off at a young age. This means that they will stop their school career early and therefore miss out on further education, a job and the chance of a good future.
What ChildsLife does
In 2019, ChildsLife launched its first anti-FGM program in Kuria in Kenya. Here we work with a number of communities and tribes to save 1000 girls from FGM. A wide cooperation has been set up with girls, boys, their parents, community leaders, schools, social service providers, Ministry of Education, Anti FGM board Kenya and even the police. Extensive course material has been developed with which the 2 program coordinators, the 5 field officers and the 2 nurses reach out to a broad target group to provide information and counseling, conduct personal conversations and workshops. The local media also supports the program with broadcast on local radio and TV stations.
Watch a clip from a workshop here https://youtu.be/IyU0R1W-YkQ
The results so far are very promising! But we are not there yet and are working very hard to rescue many more girls from this brutal practice. With your help, we can achieve so much!