September 16, 2019

We continue with teachings on the dangers of FGM at the Choice Club in the various schools. We had a debate at Shiners School where we were happy to learn that most of the girls at the school do not believe in the practice.

Our Scholarship girls attended the Choice Club meeting. Being former students of the school, everyone was happy and very eager to hear their story of escape from the ‘cut’ and how they excelled in school. One of the Scholarship girls narrated a sad story of how she was forced to run away to a Rescue Center when she learned there was a plan in action to have her ‘cut’ and married off to an older man. She bravely told a story of running away in the night, afraid she would meet bandits on the way who would harm her. She was tremendously afraid of venomous snakes that freely roam in the night. She hid in a bush, and at the crack of dawn, started her journey again, finally reaching the Rescue Center. It was very difficult for her to be away from her siblings and mother, but that was the only option she felt was left to her. She had watched her elder sister married off at a tender age, and she was determined to escape when her time came.

The girls listened in horror when she told them how girls as young as 9 years of age would be hauled to the river very early in the morning. They would be escorted by an elderly woman; they were stark naked.  The circumciser would find a rock by the riverbed where the girls were told to sit after bathing in the cold water. The circumciser would ‘cut’ the girls, then tie their legs together at the thighs. Afterwards, she would walk the girls slowly away covered by a shawl, then find a bush where they would stay until nightfall. The circumciser would then walk the girls home in the dark because they could not be seen by men. At home they would find a room that had been spread with leaves. They would sit on the leaves and stay there till they healed. They would be escorted to the toilet at night by a female relative.

Our Scholarship girl is very conversant with the Pokot culture, and her story was very captivating. This prompted one girl who has been cut to stand up in tears; she said she had gone through the ‘cut’ but will ensure her children will not suffer such a fate when their time comes. She narrated her story, saying she bled a lot after the ordeal, and sadly stated that she continues to have flashbacks of that day.

The other Scholarship girl gave the Form 4’s who are about to sit their final exams tips on passing the exams. She encouraged them that Shiners is a very good school and anyone can pass the exams; it just depends on determination and attitude.

The Choice Club members were very excited to have our girls there. We took group photos with the members. I also took time to congratulate and show appreciation to our scholars for finishing their Secondary School, going into college, and posting good grades.

They were super excited to receive gifts from Valvisions Foundation for their success. The gift of laptops was so unexpected; they shouted with joy! The laptops will help them prepare for lessons even as they join the teaching profession. They are very grateful to Valvisions Foundation for believing in them, supporting them through the scholarship program, and helping them to become shining stars in their village

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