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Media Campaign talks about the types of FGM and Engages Schools to End-FGM in Garissa county, Kenya

By Fatuma Hakar, anti-FGM campaigner and CEO Girlkind Kenya

Like any other year every summer school midterm break, many girls are at risk of going through the cut, with students from Tumaini primary school, we have highlighted the plight of children, taking count of the progress made in enabling the various children rights, especially orphans, children from deprived communities, children under juvenile justice, girls victimized by harmful cultural practices (FGM).

The Media project:

Mrs. Fatuma Hakar has emphasized the harmful practices of female genital mutilation (FGM) practice which a high percentage of girls as young as 7 years old undergo cut, the grant received from the Global Media Campaign has enabled us to run a media campaign including a live radio talk show with iftin FM. The topic of discussion was the effects of FGM which was so well discussed by Fatuma Hakar who is our CEO at Girlkind.

Fatuma discussed the types of FGM subjected to the young girls, she talked about the first one as the incision where the small part of the female reproductive organ is cut without any anesthesia. This subjecting the girls a lot of pain, she also talked about infibulation, where the top and the lower lips of the organ are cut, and she finally stressed the third and worst stage usually referred to as the Pharaonic type. As the name suggests this type has its roots in medieval Egypt which was ruled by a pharaoh.

The campaign success:

The media engagement in creating awareness against FGM has been a complete success. The live radio broadcast ran for a whole day in the morning and the evening.

The radio clip is herewith shared. The programme was relayed in the Somali language and reached a total population of 80, 000 people. The second activity was the distribution of sanitary pads to the adolescent girls in Tumaini primary school. This event was presided by our CEO Fatuma Hakar. She distributed 4 whole boxes bought for the school girls. This event was covered by K24 channel TV which is a leading TV transmitting channel.

Difficulties encountered:

Due to covid-19, we were so limited to do activities, but with strict measures, everything went as per plan.

Strong messages from the Media campaign:

It was stressed through the radio talks that there is a need to shun away from the bad Somali culture which has no religious backing.

On the radio talk show, we had lots of positive feedback and to an extent, callers were requesting that we run programmes every day.

Unexpected wins:

Huge winning with positive engagements on the talk show and school visits. Students were delighted with the information given on how harmful practice is and promised they will never undergo the cut.

Next time…

We would love to organise demonstration rallies and frequent radio jingles on daily basis.

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.