Journalist rescue three Maasai girls from FGM

By Obegi Malack

Three Maasai girls have been rescued from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Mavoko, Machakos County.

The victims’ grandmother had already contacted a traditional circumciser to perform the act during this holiday after they closed school.

Journalist Zipporah Sawaina said she was informed about the plans and had to inform administrators. She had to visit the girls’ home with administrators to prevent the act from happening.

Sawaina who is the founder of Nashipakinoi Motivational Program said the grandmother was summoned and warned.

She called on the Maasai community to totally do away with FGM. Most of the illegal acts  happen on December holidays , some families take their girls to Tanzania to perform the act and this prevent administrators from getting information.

` We should be close to our children and advise them on effects of FGM and early marriage, those are dangerous outdated practices we should invest in educating our girls,’ she said.

Nelly Mutunkei Assistant Chief Athi river North sub location said the girls and their parents were against their grandmother’s plan, it is the grandmother who had demanded they be cut or she curses them.

The administrator reported that the grandmother said her generation must be cut and she will curse the administrators who stops her from performing the practice and also the girls.

`Nowadays FGM is done to girls aged 5 years, they know if the girls get to 10 years, they will not accept to pass through FGM,’ the chief said.

Abdala Idi assistant county commissioner in Mavoko said social media has contributed alot to early marriages and urged parents to monitor what the children watch online.

The ACC advised parents to make use of the holidays, they should stay close with their children and understand them and take them through life lessons.

According to Shally Mwadime Children Officer Athi River many cases which are reported in children’s office are of Gender-based violence (GBV) teenage pregnancy and defilement. 

The officer said the children are using dangerous drugs for abortion without parents knowledge, others are performing anal sex which they say is safe, they cannot get pregnant.

Assistant County Commissioner Issak Mohamed Abdi said cases of FGM have reduced. The teenage pregnancy cases are mostly due to poverty, he pointed out that many bodaboda operators are involved in such cases.

The law is against FGM and early marriage. FGM leave physical and psychological scars to girls.

Nashipakinoi has been holding mentorship programs for young girls, teaching them in importance of going to school, effects of FGM and Early marriage.

It held stakeholders meeting, engaging the ACC’s, Chiefs, assistant Chiefs, Village elders, Nyumba Kumi, Childrens office and the media on ways to curb FGM, early pregnancies and early & forced marriages during this long holiday period.

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