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Each Year, There Are 3 Million Girls at Risk of Female Genital Mutilation.
WGEP is working to lower the incidence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), a harmful cultural practice that presents serious health risks including death. FGM/C is a barrier to girls’ education as the practice is traditionally seen as rendering girls ready for marriage, leading them to drop out of school. The ritual of FGM is widespread in the Tharaka region of Kenya where we work. In fact, 71% of women between 15-49 years old have undergone some form of genital cutting.
How WGEP Helps Keep Girls Healthy and Safe
WGEP believes that in order to successfully combat the harmful practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), we must address the practice’s cultural and social underpinnings on multiple levels. In collaboration with our local, woman-run partner organization, Tharaka Women's Welfare Project (TWWP) in Kenya, we have developed the Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) as a holistic education program aimed at helping communities in Tharaka, Kenya eradicate this harmful practice.
ARP is a week-long event full of educational workshops and leadership activities as an alternative path to enter adulthood instead of undergoing FGM/C. Increasing girls’ autonomy is gender transformative, so girls participate in empowerment trainings with their mothers and other female mentors to learn about the harmful effects of genital cutting, human and female anatomy and reproduction, personal hygiene, relationship building, family life, healthy decision-making and confidence building.
Since its launch in 2007, 2,200 girls have completed the ARP program and celebrated their new adulthood with songs, dance and celebration rather than undergoing genital cutting. The ARP program has become so popular that residents now approach WGEP and TWWP to request that their daughters be included. Villagers understand the benefits of ARP and, now that there is sufficient support in the community, they are increasingly demanding education and healthy alternatives for their children.
The Power of Your Gift This Holiday Season
Your support not only ensures that girls are empowered to say “No!” to the harmful practice of FGM, but equips a new generation of girls with the life skills, confidence and knowledge to make healthy life decisions in school and beyond. Thank you for believing in the futures of our girls!
30%-Meals for the Participants
15%- Health/Teacher Training
8%-Facility to Host the ARP
3%-ARP Girls' Mothers Meetings
This displays the maximum incremental additional funding the campaign could receive (Maximum Funding Amount (MFA) less Minimum Funding Goal)). For example, if the MFA is $100,000 and the MFG $10,000, it would show the difference of $90,000 here.
22%-Lessos & Shirts
15%-Training and Staff Support