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Accelerating the Abandonment of FGM in Samburu County with Samburu Community Radio(Serian FM)

By Samuel Leadismo,

Media campaigner Samuel Leadismo reports on his recent work involving increased commitment by community members in Samburu County to accelerate the abandonment of FGM/C and saving girls from FGM/C by promoting education.

Expected results:

  1. Community members support the campaign to end FGM/C and save girls from FGM/C.
  2. Empower the locals through local radio to End FGM in one generation

Beneficiaries:

Girls, Men, Women, Elders, Morans, youth, and government officials.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs, or any harmful procedure to the female genitalia, for non-medical reasons.

 The practice is being internationally recognized as a human rights violation and discrimination against girls and women.

The FGM/C prevalence is 86% in the Samburu community. The practice of FGM/C is deeply rooted in the Samburu communities. They practice Type III infibulation (Population Council, 2007)-narrowing of the vaginal orifice with the creation of a covering seal by cutting and positioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris. 

Samburu Youth Vocal Person to End FGM-Naisiai and Youth representative Leseketeti discussing and empowering the community on Ending FGM and encouraging young people to join the movement to end FGM.

The radio show was to prevent, mitigate and respond to issues of FGM, PCF in collaboration with Global media campaign to end FGM are proposing on this programme because it has strategic actions including strengthening county government leadership, community structures, and coordination, strengthening the capacities of the services providers, social norms programming to change attitudes and behaviors of people, social mobilizations and community engagements to form functional alliances and movements that can create a collective community abandonment of FGM. 

The Pastoralist Child Foundation has devised innovative and comprehensive approaches to prevent FGM/C in Samburu not only in the short term but also in the long term. The organization’s approach has seen it widen the scope of its advocacy. It engages a broader range of stakeholders, including girls, who are suvivors of FGM/C, at risk of health complications, some leading to death, early and forced marriage making a girl unable to finish her education and get jobs to contribute to the economy. Mothers are engaged as they typically make the crucial decision that dictates when a girl is ready for the cut.

Through our radio show we empowered the community to spread the word in their villages on child rights and protection and the importance of education for the children, as a result, they were able to commit themselves to influence many parents through community meetings to End FGM.

We also empowered the community to increase the knowledge of Kenyan laws prohibiting FGM, they promised to foresee the rest of the involvement of other community members in the villages for change desired.

 Progress toward Outcome and Output:

  • Outcome: More responsive community members and youth with increased capacity to prevent and respond to End FGM.
  • Outcome Progress: Community members are willing to accept change, many of them shared their successes stories by giving a girl child the priority in education while mobilizing a boy child to go back to school and end FGM.
  • Output 1.1: Enhance the capacity of community members to be the change agent at the family level, village level, and community level to End FGM in Samburu.
  • Samburu Community members decided to support social mobilization and community engagement to facilitate wider social and gender norm changes through the interpersonal communication (community conversations, intergenerational dialogues); media; engagement of religious institutions and leaders and other community/clan leaders; legal literacy; boys and male engagement.

Ruth Harley

Ruth Harley is an opera singer, writer, and creative. She is running The Women’s Vinyl Project which empowers women and girls through singing and music. She is working with GMC as the Website News Editor, compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM across Africa.