Final Exams and Graduations

March 2, 2021

Schools close this month. The Form 4 students will be sitting their final exams, then they will have completed secondary education. This will be a busy month for most of the schools. The administrators and teachers will see that the Form 1, 2 and 3 classes sit their end of term exams, first.  Afterwards, the schools will close, and those students will go home. The Form 4 students will be left behind to sit their final exams which will be complete in April.

The Choice Club is preparing for graduation ceremonies which will take place before schools close. The members have completed the club curriculum despite the delays which occurred due to Covid. Valvisions has visited the 4 schools where we offer the mentorship programs to speak once again with our members about the skills we have taught and introduced. We want to prepare the girls for their ‘at home stays,’ to try and help keep them safe.

Graduations are always fun for the students, and they look forward to these occasions. Due to the restrictions put in place because of Covid, the graduations this year will be lower key, though every member of the club will be issued a certificate.

The last two topics we covered were on Human Rights and Female Genital Mutilation (“FGM”).  In two of our schools, we have a large community from the Masai tribe. The Masai are notorious for practicing FGM. What stood out predominantly from our discussions with the girls in both schools, was that the girls who are cut were not given an option to say no. The majority of these students confessed they were “cut” when they were very young and told that their culture dictates that all girls must be “cut”.

When we showed the girls charts with pictures of the 3 different types of FGM, they were horrified. Despite being “cut,” they had no idea the damage that had actually been done to their bodies. No one explains what is happening during the procedure.  After seeing the charts, many of the girls began to understand why some of the girls in their communities bleed to death during “cutting” season.

We prepared the charts to enlighten the girls in the hope that awareness would help them understand why their participation is essential to ensure that their daughters and younger sisters do not get “cut”. Valvisions prepared a chart depicting pictures of a girl crying as she is pinned down by two women as a third one gets ready to “cut” her. The second shows the same girl being given away at an early age for marriage. The next chart teaches that girls can run away to a rescue Centre if they feel threatened. There, future girls will be safe and able to attend school. With an education, they will have a voice against the practice.

One girl stood up and said had she known about the rescue Centres, she would have run there when her mother brought an old woman to their home to “cut” her. She said she was scared when she heard them whispering. She had seen the same thing happen with her sister and realized her time had come. Though she had been told the cutting was part of her culture, she was still apprehensive and scared of the blade. She says when they “cut” her she felt like she was going to die; she said the pain was something she will never forget. Seeing the pictures of how the “cut” is done, she exclaimed she had no idea how much they mutilated her. After seeing the chart, she took a very strong stand, no child of hers, she stated, will ever go through the “cut.”

Though fathers receive the dowry when a girl is married off, the women play a big role in having their daughters “cut”.

It is time we showed videos of the “cutting” to men in the communities where FGM is practiced. When they witness the horror their children endure, it is our hope they will see the sense in saying no to the “cut.” 

We wish all the students sitting their final exams the very best and also congratulate the graduating members. We hope they will make good choices regarding their futures.

Members of the Choice Club at A.I.C. Ngong learning about the effects

of FGM and the benefits of getting an education.

A woman narrates what she went through as a result of the ‘cut’.  She is lame as a result and depends on people in her community to help her do simple tasks that she would have otherwise done for herself.

Another woman narrates her agony after undergoing the “cut.”

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