The girls who were part of our camps and turned themselves against FGM are going to high schools of the region. Our "Big Sisters" program keeps in touch with them.
Since sex education and other mentorings are not carried out in public schools, we have taken over.
Our girls have formed Zinduka Girls Clubs in their high schools and meet weekly.
We accompany them and talk to them about their period, their first boyfriend, puberty and help them to find solutions to current problems.
Currently we are in three different schools a week and look after about 250 girls!
Sakuri Girls Secondary School
Nyaroha Girls Secondary School
Kehancha Mixed Secondary School
The Malezi program is an intercultural exchange program of the Samburu and Kuria tribes in Kenya.
It is run by the organizations Men End FGM, Mentors On Tour, Umoja Women and Zinduka.
Each organization works in different ways with different groups in the community with an emphasis on ending harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriages.
With different approaches, we manage to strengthen the community in its knowledge of health, law and first aid and to show them alternatives to cultural practices.
The exchange is of great importance in order to get to know and exchange the problems and solutions of other cultures.
The project is supported by the Tatort-Verein in Cologne (Germany) and so far 200 participants have been trained in Kuria and Samburu.
On 7.4.2019 a great seminar for fathers and daughters took place.
This was conducted by a friend and colleague named Elias Muindi and the Zinduka members (Cess, Tobias, Antonia).
A total of 20 fathers and their daughters participated in the seminar. The aim was to improve the relationship, which is not only neglected in Kuria, but in Kenya in general due to hierarchical and patriarchal structures. Many discussions, conversations and activities led to similarities and helped us to understand why the father-daughter relationship is so important.
At the end of the day, fathers and daughters knew more about each other, some even held each other in their arms and photographed each other, which had never happened before.
Key learnings from the day:
1. fathers must leave behind a positive behaviour that their children can imitate and be proud of.
2. Fathers should be aware of the daily events of their children.
3. It is up to the fathers as the head of the family to encourage their children and to work diligently to make their dreams come true.
4. Parents need to understand that constant conflicts at the family level have a great impact on the future of their children, and therefore they should be as minimal as possible so as not to discourage children.
5. Parents should avoid / stop discriminating against their children and treat all children equally.
6. Parents should avoid exposing their children to child labour in order to improve the economic status of the family.
7. Parents should be careful to minimise divorce as this creates an unstable environment for children to grow up in.
8. Parents should stop marrying their daughters for the dowry that will stabilize their economic status.
9. Parents should strive to avoid buying their children's electronic devices or phones at an early age as this affects their concentration on schoolwork.
10. Children should be advised to be in good company and to avoid peer pressure at home and at school.
11. It is the responsibility of the father as the head of the family to ensure that FGM is not practiced in his homes.
12. When parents are united, there is no FGM, as disagreement is one of the most important factors of FGM at the household level.
Anti-FGM activist Elias Muindi is an employee of Men Engage Alliance Kenya and has developed the father-daughter seminar. We have great pleasure and hopes to deepen the discussions with him in Kuria in the future.
Every December every two years, the tribe of the Kuria community practices its tradition of female genital mutilation. The practice belongs to harmful cultural rituals and is also a violation of the human rights.
Even though the practice is illegal, some communites still practice it intensively such as the Kuria.
We cannot forbid anyone to do it but we can help families and children to understand medical reasons on why it should not be practiced and provide safe places for their daughters.
In 2018 we were able to host and educate 158 girls over the period of one month.
We thank every one who made this possible and who supported us financially, physically and mentally !!!