HOPE AT LAST
Updated: Jan 26, 2022
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “So continue encouraging each other and building each other up, just like you are doing already.” At Spread Truth Africa we are committed toward encouraging, supporting and nurturing the youth.
The UN estimates that 200 Million women and girls around the world have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), with 80% of cases recorded in Africa. As it is, FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of human rights with many of the girls who are subjected to it been under the age of 15. In Kenya, it is estimated that 4 Million or at least one in five women and girls have been subjected to FGM. There are many factors that contribute to FGM prevalence, but the most outstanding is the deeply-rooted gender inequality, entrenched cultural practices and norms. The Kenyan government and other organizations, both local and international, have put the efforts to address and stop the practice, which in some communities it rises as high as 94%. As much as over the past couple of years these numbers have declined, they still remain way too high. It is important to note that the effects of FGM go beyond the physical damage and health risks. The practice comes along with intense psychological problems which includes depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and low self-esteem to mention the least.
It is against this background that Spread Truth Africa prepared the FGM Survivor Curriculum that offers the psychosocial support that addresses the psychological effects of FGM. As an organization, we are glad to be joining the Kenyan government in efforts to eradicate FGM by 2022 following a directive given by His Excellency the President in Samburu. Chief Administrative Secretary Linah Chebii Kilimo, who oversees Gender matters in government, has been an invaluable friend to Spread Truth Africa in this journey. She has been at the forefront of fighting this vice and her efforts saw the creation of the Anti-FGM Board. We are therefore grateful for her endorsement of the first ever psycho-social support curriculum that is being used to bring healing to our girls and restoring their worth.
We officially launched the curriculum on Saturday 22/1/2022 at Sajiloni Girls High School in Kajiado Central.The Sajiloni girls group is the 2nd cohort of the psycho-social support program, with a population of 372 girls who will be ministered through this life-changing program every Saturday and Sunday for one month.
We were honored to have the Anti-FGM Board Director, Madam Agnes Leina, grace our launch ceremony.Our director, Reverend Hamisi Kirenga, did a run through all the 10 chapters in a summary, explaining each chapter and what they should expect in the forth-coming classes of the curriculum. The director ministered to the girls and prayed for them. On that day, 125 girls gave their lives to Christ and for us, this was definitely the highlight.Our Project Manager, Ken Lanyo was very instrumental in making the day a success. We also extend our gratitude to the school’s principal and councilor who ensured the girls were settled on time and attentive all through.
Day 1 of the curriculum class; 23/1/2022.
Vanessa Dorcas, who is in charge of teaching and taking the girls through the curriculum, was very ready and energized for the first day.
She was accompanied by her colleague Peter Kimani and 2 volunteers; Phoro Catherine and Millicent Naserian.
It was encouraging to find the girls excited to start their first class of the curriculum and received the team with so much joy and warmth.On the first day, the girls were taken through the first chapter of the curriculum and the theme was, “The Beginning of the World and How It Was Broken.” This first chapter basically brought into perspective what the Bible is and why God gave it to us, that our story started thousands of years ago, where evil came from and how we have been rescued by Jesus.
One might wonder why all these is encompassed in the first chapter of a FGM Psycho-social curriculum! It is very important for the young girls to understand their origin and to know that God knew each of them even before they were born. This background will easily help them be aware of their origin as well as their worth in Christ even as we dive deep into the other parts of the curriculum bit by bit.The session was very lively, educative and interactive. The girls had so many questions which the team responded to. After the session, the team led by Vanessa served them snacks, bread and soda, just as our director, Reverend Hamisi Kirenga, had promised them the previous day during the launch.
They were very happy and extended their gratitude. Some of the girls shared their reviews with the team and expressed their contentment thus far and how they are looking forward toward completing the whole curriculum. As an organization, we are also excited for the next classes to the very end!We thank God for every step of the way.