June 10, 2010
Though proud of her Maasai heritage, Carol Nangeya knew that certain traditional practices in Masailand needed to change. For long she travelled on foot from village to village teaching on the dangers of female genital mutilation/cutting to anyone who would listen. In Maasai culture, genital cutting is an initiation into adulthood. It is also considered a prerequisite for becoming a bride, which occurs, on average, at the tender age of 14. With support from community members and friends she started a safe house for girls attempting to escape this fate, and enrolled them in school. A network of community members, friends, alternative rites of passage and awareness-raising in the community are helping to ensure that Maasai girls in the future will have a wider range of options.Physical and sexual violence are common among pubescent girls, who are vulnerable to harassment and attack by stronger and older males. The home is the first site of abuse and the violence continues to spread as girls are exposed to the wider community.I myself underwent severe form of FGM and suffered for long until i got specilaized treatment and have since been a strong advocate against FGM.