Circumcision Season

December 18, 2018

We visited the girls at school today; they are busy with exams. One of the girls finished her exams today, but the other two will finish on Friday afternoon before leaving for home on the 22nd. One will go ahead of them on the 21st as she finishes her exams earlier. The girls asked that I pass on their regards to Valvisions and their gratitude for the school supplies and pocket money. We talked to one girl on the phone later in the evening. We had gone to the school earlier to see her, but she was in class, and we were unable to visit.

The circumcision season is in high gear in Kenya, and a lot is happening in that regard. Two boys unfortunately lost their lives today after under-going the cut. Investigations are on-going to find out what caused their deaths. The circumcisers are being advised to find out the family history of the boys they are circumcising. Some may have diabetes while others have other medical issues that do not allow the blood to clot as fast as it should which can cause fatality.

Unfortunately, there was also news of a girl who died after she had secretly been cut. The parents had gone to seek a burial permit, but the chief of the area got wind of the cutting incidence and ordered that they be arrested. This took place in Meru. The parents, who have gone into hiding, are being sought by the authorities. It is sad to realize that there are parents who are still ignorant about the dangers of FGM. Due to their adherence to the sordid strength of the tradition, they have their girls cut in secret. When a life-threatening problem occurs, the parents are scared to take them to the hospital fearing arrest, and, as a result, the girls bleed to death.

Thankfully, the media is doing a good thing on high-lighting these issues. Our hope is that many parents will hear of these incidences and stop endangering the lives of their daughters. Nothing, absolutely nothing good, can come out of FGM.

Creating awareness for the girls, as we did during the seminar, makes them aware of the dangers. Further asking them to report to the authorities when they feel threatened will go a long way towards reducing this atrocity. We are the voice that needs to be heard against FGM. We cannot stop spreading the message. I am certain that lives will be saved with our message of saying NO to FGM.

Article appeared in 12/18/18 Kenya Daily Nation





Police in Igembe Central are looking for family members of a 14-year-old girl who bled to death after undergoing female genital mutilation.

The girl is said to have been taken to her relatives in Ntunene, Igembe North, where she underwent the ‘cut’ a week ago.

Igembe Central deputy County Commissioner, Josiah Odongo, said the parents of the deceased as well as the relatives who hosted her have gone into hiding.

“Investigations are going on to establish the cause of death. By the time police went to the home, the parents had abandoned the body and gone into hiding. We are waiting for a post-mortem report,” Mr Odongo stated.

Pastor Julius Gitari, a resident, said the parents of the girl had tried to get a burial permit from the chief before reports emerged that she had undergone FGM.

“It is sad that FGM is still rife in this area at this age. It is unfortunate that a girl can be circumcised and die without anyone knowing. We call on the government agencies to get to the bottom of this matter,” he said.

He blamed FGM on illiteracy in some parts of Igembe North and Igembe Central.

Ms Catherine Thiakunu, an anti-fgm crusader, said several cases have been reported during this holiday.

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