Influencers on Radio Push to End FGM in Kuria, Kenya

Influencers on Radio Push to End FGM in Kuria, Kenya

By Vincent Ogallo

Vincent Ogallo highlights the increase of FGM Cases during and post Covid-19. His End FGM Media Campaign helped to accelerate community awareness in Kuria.

The Project

With support from Global media Campaign, we had a radio talk show at a local Radio Togotane 88.3 FM. We invited two influencers; Merida Omahe- Maendeleo ya wanawake chairperson in Kuria West Sub-county.

the conversation was about the role of parents in protecting their children especially girls against the cut during and after this festive season.

We also invited Catherine Marwa-Kuria, a University Student who is Deputy President, to speak with the youth on their role in saying no to FGM in this generation since youth has the immense power to rally against FGM.

Success

Radio Togotane 88.3FM is a new local station in Kuria-Migori county Kenya that has been embraced by the Kurian Community hence has a wider reach of over 560, 000 listeners drawn from different categories of generations and this is the wide population which we were able to reach out to during this radio talk show supported by GMCtoEndFGM.

The panelist was chosen among the influencers in the community of Kuria, they were able to encourage the listeners, share challenges and positive change stories towards the abandonment of FGM.

The maendeleo ya wanawake Chairperson for Kuria west; Mrs. Merida omahe was also able to talk to mothers encouraging them to fight for their daughters against the cut/FGM.

Also, Miss Catherine Marwa being a student leader in the community was able to talk to the youth to stand up and speak against FGM as elites in the Kuria community.

Three influencers Me from the right Vincent, Mrs. Merida Omahe and Catherine Marwa during the Radio Talk Show at Radio Togoatane 88.3FM

Difficulties encountered

Being an End FGM activist from the Kuria community, to some extent running a media project, has come with challenges. Coming from a rural setup where there are poor internet issues and the majority of the people I advocate for or with has no much knowledge on social media campaign strategies.

In some incidents, since political goodwill is an issue in Kuria most politicians do get some thoughts that are either spoiling for them since the majority of them support FGM in Kuria because of votes.

Strong messages that came out of the media project

Most listers had the opportunity to ask questions and make comments during the radio talk sessions as a sign that local radio is a powerful tool.

Some were supporting the panelist/influencers quest to end FGM and during the session, one caller was a survivor of FGM who came out boldly to share her story, difficulties she faced to a point of developing a health risk, fistula, and suffered too much when she was giving birth to her two children and even after that she could not give birth to more children. This was a plus to the discussions.

In equal measure, some listeners made calls challenging us that FGM is a cultural practice that we will not end soon.

Unexpected Wins; Challenges

One of the wins is making a great partnership with the Radio station to continue with the End FGM Campaign, listeners appreciating my work towards activisms against FGM, and finally having a survivor who called during the session and highlighted her personal experience because of FGM.

One major challenge is limited resources to keep the conversation going on through the same media station.

Impact

We reached over 560,000 listeners across the Kurian community.

Linkages

We managed to strengthen our link with the Radio station Togotane FM in that the management promised to always consider giving us free radio talk hours to advance conversations towards the campaign End FGM.

Next time…

We would invite more influencers, especially the elders and the FGM Survivors to forge their support publicly towards End FGM.

Ruth Harley

Ruth is an opera singer collaborating with women in Kenya using indigenous music to end FGM. She is compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM.