The Village Experience has been working with Samburu Girl’s Foundation in Northern Kenya to put an end to the harmful cultural practices of Female Circumcision, Early Forced Marriage, and Beading among tribal communities. We work to empower this organization, led by the strong and resilient Josephine Kulea, to realize their dreams and take the necessary steps forward to protect the young girls in their community.
Social Justice Education
Even though FGM was officially outlawed in Kenya in 2011, the ritual is still practiced across many local tribes including the Samburu and Masai. Young girls are subject to unclean razor blades, excessive bleeding and infection, and even death. There is huge need to continue education the elders of the community on the damaging health effects of this practice and encourage them to instead place their girl’s in alternative rites of passage programs to allow for acceptance in the community. The marriage age in Kenya is 18, yet certain tribes still stake their claim on young girls through beading and early marriage. Education focused on the male population could help to put an end to these practices as well.
By fundraising within our community during 2014, we were able to raise enough to construct the first FGM and Early Forced Marriage Center for Samburu Girl’s Foundation in 2015. This center has space for 80 young girls either running from one of these harmful practices or coming to recover from the effects. Here they are safe while they heal, they are provided with an education, and every effort is made to reintegrate them back into their families and communities. A great deal of education is provided and alternative rites of passage programs are implemented throughout the area. The new kitchen, dining hall, and meeting space has been constructed and is fully operational now.
Running the Rescue Center in Maralal takes a lot of time, effort, and money. In order to properly serve the girls staying at the rescue center, we are in need of the following:
- Providing salaries for cooks, security guards, house mother, and counselors comes to $12,000 per year.
- A vocational skills training program is needed to begin training the girls on tailoring, health and beauty, bakery, and computer. Each module would cost approximately $5,000 to launch.