For the past three years, I have been volunteering for grassroot organizations working to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Marriage in Kenya. While working, I gathered quite a lot of stories; mainly positive inspiring stories that I decided to start a blog; https://andisilorna.wordpress.com/about/ to share the stories to the rest of the world. With my professional background in journalism, I became much more interested in gathering stories around the practicing communities. With a little help from my close family and community based organizations, I have been able to finance for my various visits thereby writing and publishing over 50 feature stories/articles. Additionally I have attracted quite a great following (of about 150 subscribers) and 50K views over two years. I love writing, I love recounting stories, I love working with communities. I love seeing people getting inspired by other people's tales.
While telling the stories, I try to create a mental picture that a reader can vividly and easily relate. How about I just film short videos, in addition to what I have been doing?- Is a question that has been on my mind for sometime...Well yes, I have so much wanted to film short videos alongside the stories that I write.
I would like to start with a teaser video and a few more videos thereafter (as I source for more funding from relevant organizations). The USD1000 cost will support my travel and video production -across the communities that I plan to begin with (Samburu, Marsabit, Garissa, Kuria, Kisii, Kajiado) This videos will also run during the 16 Days of Activism- (a period set aside to campaign against Gender Based Violence. Of which FGM/C is one of the most severe form of GBV)
I am calling upon you to make my dream come true. Am sure these videos are going to be much more impactful and they will reach a much wider audience. The videos will also guide campaigners-depending on what kind of information I will be able to gather - Though basing on my experience am sure the discussions are going to eye-opening! I plan to work with activists on the ground,survivors, lawmakers, prosecutors, health professionals and the general community.
Female Genital mutilation comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury of the female genital organs for non-medical reasons as defined by World Health Organization (WHO)
Consequences of FGM include severe pain, shock, difficulty in passing urine, infections, injury nearby the genitalia tissues and sometimes death. The procedure can result in death through severe bleeding leading to haemorrhage shock, neorogenic shock as a result of pain and trauma, and overwhelming infection.
Almost all women who have undergone FGM experience pain and bleeding as a consequence of the procedure. The event itself is traumatic; girls are often pinned down during the procedure. Risk and complications increase with the type of FGM and are more severe and prevalent with infibulations- (stitching up of the vagina-leaving a small opening for urination)
Women may experience chronic pain, chronic pelvic infections, development of cysts, obsessive and genital ulcers, excessive scar tissue formation, infection of the reproductive system, decreased sexual enjoyment and psycological consequences such as post-traumatic disorder.
Additional risks for complications from infubilation include urinary and menstrual problems, infertility, later surgery (defibulation and reinfibulation) and painful sexual intercourse especially during the first weeks after sexual initiation and the partner can also experience pain and complications.
While giving birth the scar tissue might tear or the opening needs to be cut to allow the baby to come out. After child birth women from ethnic communities are sown up again to make them 'tight' for their husband -reinfibulation. Such cutting and restitching of a woman's genitalia results in painful scar tissue.