Am from the Kisii community in western Kenya. I was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) at a tender age of 9. it is an experience that I would never want any girl or woman to undergo. It is not only painful but a lifetime tormenting memory that haunts you till death. As the result of the cut I lost a lot of blood and my consciousness. I could not understand the reason why they did this to me forcefully. The blades used are often shared and are not sterilized exposing the girls to infections like HIV AIDS and some blades are blunt so the circumciser will repeat the cutting over and over again.
I was still at school when I was subjected to FGM and the cut happened just before Christmas after we closed school for Christmas holidays. After the cut it took me a long time to heal since anytime I went for short or long call the bleeding would begin again and this caused endless infections to the wound which took forever to heal. I underwent a horrifying healing experience that I have never been able to shake away. After the wound healed my heart never healed to this moment. Every Christmas time brings me bad memories like now.
Schools will be closing in few weeks and the cut will be taking place in secrecy in Kisii.“These communities live in rural parts of the country, and the anti FGM law is hard to enforce since they reject the modern aspects of Kenya society. In my community traditions, FGM is considered a transition from childhood to adulthood and it is marked by group initiation ceremonies but today the act is done secretly.
In the Kisii community if a girl child has not undergone the cut, men will reject them and are considered unclean. It is very dire to an extent if any woman was to go and deliver in a kisii hospital and the hospital staff realized that she wasn’t circumcised, they will forcefully cut her.
I founded a women group called Gifted Hands women group which is working closely with the community to discourage the act.
Your contribution will enable the group help the Kisii community to learn and talk about the damaging effects of FGM. We also run youth groups to help boys and girls to speak against against FGM. We train women to form women's watch groups round the community including in hospitals to report FGM cases. We will achieve this by conducting seminars, doing door to door campaigns, visiting various churches and social gatherings called barazas and community policing.