A Non-governmental organisation ‘Safe Engage Foundation’ (SEF), has undertaken to train Kuria youths and mentors to propagate Anti FGM campaign messages.
Speaking during a pass-out ceremony of the 26 Anti-FGM mentors and ambassadors at Kehancha Town, Migori County Executive for Sports, Gender and Youth Affairs, Samson Ngariba said that the county government, anti FGM partners and the national government have been engaging to ensure that the vice ends by 2022 as decreed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ngariba said the mentors and ambassadors who were trained will visit primary schools, churches and chiefs’ barazas to pass the message of anti FGM against the Kuria children.
He noted that so far the County had trained 104 girls who were rescued from the cut and some have become ambassadors of hope in the fight against the vice.
The CEC said that the county had provided an enabling environment by assisting NGOs fighting the FGM vice and those advocating for the rights of Migori girls and women.
“We welcome any organisation that is willing to assist the county to fight these retrogressive vices that have ensured that our people languish in poverty,” stated Ngariba.
Ngariba added that the county has been able to pass bills and laws that include the Sexual Gender-Based Violence, child protection policy and the Minimum Service Package to curb FGM, child labour and violence against women.
He said Kuria elders, the gatekeepers of the culture had agreed to shun the FGM vice and called upon all Kuria residents to abide by the elders’ decision of eradicating FGM in the region.
Safe Engage Foundation Director Christine Ghati noted that her organisation will stand firm against FGM to ensure that Kuria girls are protected.
Ghati said that empowering the girl child to know her rights was the perfect tool in ending FGM.
“This fight can only be won if our school children can be enlightened to know their rights at the primary school level. Our teachers in various schools across the Kuria Sub Counties will also assist our mentors and ambassadors to champion the anti FGM cause for our future generation,” said Ghati.
She pointed out that in the coming six months they will be mentoring girls in primary school with a target of achieving zero cuts come December.
Ghati stressed that nurturing art through talent will help the girls to focus more on their education and talents rather than thinking about FGM.
AMREF Health Africa Nyanza Coordinator Mr. Charles Olwamba said that they were engaging the anti FGM partners in the county to ensure that the fight against child labour, early marriages and FGM ends.
Olwamba said the rights of the girl-child should be protected and upheld to promote equity and equal access to education.
The AMREF official pointed out that the mentors and ambassadors of anti FGM will be essential in the fight against the vice at the grassroots level. He called upon the Kuria residents to appreciate and accommodate the mentors as the deadline for “end FGM 2022” draws closer.
Olwamba added that AMREF will continue to support grassroots organisations to promote girls’ education and engage the county and national government officials to eradicate these harmful practices.
He said that AMREF will engage both the national and county governments on how best to curb the challenges of cross-border FGM at Sirare-Isebania border.
By Geoffrey Makokha