Amid campaigns to sensitize locals on the dangers of carrying out female genital mutilation on young girls and women in Tharaka by Tharaka Women Welfare program, the war seems to take effect after gaining support of even those who have been spear heading the act in the region.
In a closing ceremony of a 5 days training on alternative rite of passage for girls held at Ng’onya primary school in Tulima location in Tharaka South Sub county and graced by the TWWP founder M.s Aniceta Kiriga and the local administration, Regina Kamene Mwathi who has been conducting the cut on young girls announced to have ditched the practice and will now embark on flushing out remaining `enemies’ of the girl child in the community.
Speaking during the event, Kamene said she decided to ditch the cutting she has been doing for over 30 years after realizing that the world has greatly evolved rendering the traditional practice irrelevant in the modern world and she will now be focusing on ensuring the act has been completely eradicated in Tharaka.
“I have been conducting the cut on girls for over 30 years but I have realized that the world we are living in has completely changed making the practice retrogressive as the world is currently focusing on education. I have therefore decided to lead anti-FGM campaigns especially in Nkondi ward to reform other 4 remaining women who are conducting the cut on girls,’’ Kamene said.
Since her reformation, the renowned Kamene said she has attended several seminars courtesy of Tharaka Women Welfare Program where she has talked to young girls and women on the importance of abandoning the retrogressive practice and instead embrace modern education to succeed in life.
As an elderly woman, Kamene said she has witnessed hopes for young girls being shattered after indulging into affairs with men who have no positive interests in them and eventually left to suffer with irredeemable damage.
“The men you see all over enticing you with goodies are up to no good, once they get what they are after you are left alone to suffer with your poor parents. It is therefore your responsibility as young girls to shun routes that may hinder you from achieving your future goals and plans in the world we are living,’’ Kamene advised the girls.
Her words were echoed by the Tharaka women welfare program founder M.s Anicetta Kiriga and who has been organizing the seminars all over Tharaka to sensitize and educate young girls on the dangers of the FGM and importance of education in the modern world.
On her part, Aniceta challenged parents to take charge of their children especially at time like this they are at home following closure of schools due to covid-19 effects to ensure they are not compromised by the prevailing vices in the society.
Further, she warned the young girls against rushing to live lives that are beyond their age and instead focus on school as everything has its own right time to be done.
“In life everything has its rightful time to be done, whatever you are rushing to experience at your tender age will have the right time after you are done with your studies and when you can be independent and responsible enough for them,’’ she said.
Tulima location Chief Mr.Chirles Iguna who was present expressed his disappointment over a big number of schools going young girls who have conceived during this stay at home period and vowed to act accordingly and ensure the FGM is eradicated in his area.
“It is emerging that since closure of schools a good number of school going girls have conceived raising concerns as to who has failed in responsibilities now that the children have been at home. I am dedicated to ensuring the safety of our girls is guaranteed and the retrogressive FGM is completely done away with, through tough actions I shall take on culprits,’’ the Chief warned.
Tharaka south, Tharaka North and Igambang’ombe sub counties of Tharaka Nithi County have been termed as the hot spots areas for female genital mutilation and Ms. Aniceta has been conducting seminars and campaigns in the areas in bid to change the situation that has injured the reputation of the sub counties.
Apart from holding seminars for young school girls on the dangers of FGM, Tharaka women welfare program has been funding education for bright students from needy families from primary school level to university level in an attempt to lift the standards of women in Tharaka region.
She finally urged the girls to follow what was taught to them in the seminar for the own good and make their parents proud by becoming successful people.