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Media Campaign Positively Impacts Narok County, Kenya, to end FGM

By Susan Kutingala

Susan Kutingala is an anti-FGM activist who arranged media events on International Women’s Day (IWD) in Narok County, helping to end FGM.

There has been rising and rampant cases of Teenage pregnancy and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) among school-going girls across the Narok County, I carried out a campaign on a strategy to end teenage pregnancy and Female Genital Mutilation by making frequent visits to the rural areas, attending the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations at the county level and also create awareness through media, addressing local radio stations.

The objective of the activities

  • Advocate for all children to go to school 
  • Enforce the governing law on free and compulsory education for all children
  • Enhanced awareness on FGM and child marriage among residents 

Achievement (Success) of the media engagement

The media activities showed that, despite strong social resistance, progress towards the abandonment of FGM can be achieved through well-focused and consistent programs.

Challenges encountered in planning 

  • Time management – we could not reach out to the target group on time.
  • Communication, means of communication was poor due to phone networks and most of the locals don’t have mobile phones.
  • The facilitation, amount budgeted for the activities was not enough to cater to all the needs of the public and program.

The strong message that came out of the media project

  • It was observed that locals are ending the cultural practices of Female Genital Mutilation and embracing girl child education.
  • From the media activities, it was observed that locals need to be trained frequently on the dangers of teenage pregnancy and Female Genital Mutilation.
  • It was also observed that there is a need to engage both families of the affected girl or boy to encourage them that there is still more to be done.

Negative Observation

  • Locals are still held up by the cultural practices

Achievements of the study

  • The number of teenage pregnancies has reduced.
  • Advocate for all children to go to school 
  • Enforcement of the governing law on free and compulsory education for all children
  • The combined reach of 600,000 people via Mayian and Sidai FM

 Linkages

Collaborations with the local leaders, church leaders, and role models who have succeeded and are role models within the community.

Next time

Set up a rescue centre for the affected girls, those who have undergone FGM, escaping from FGM, and those who have been affected by teenage pregnancy have been constructed to offer them shelter and safety and more girls will be rescued from teenage pregnancy and FGM.

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.