Stop Female Genital Mutilation Campaign
In Kenya, our Loreto Sisters work with the Stop Female Genital Mutilation campaign to educate women, men and community leaders about the dangers of this harmful cultural practice, which the World Health Organization has called ‘a form of torture.’
Loreto Sister Ephigenia Gachiri has dedicated her life to ending the barbaric practise in Kenya where it is estimated 27% of women aged 15 to 49 have undergone FGM. The latest estimates show that three million girls and women are at risk of mutilation every year – approximately 8,000 girls per day.
One of the major issues in eradicating FGM is that there is an enormous amount of cultural importance placed on this rite of passage, which is believed to prepare a girl for motherhood. As a result, Sr. Ephigenia has developed a new rite of passage to show children that they are adults, one that did not involve pain or mutilation.
The project currently operates in over eight constituencies of the Rift Valley in Kenya with an established network of field officers who assist in the coordination of the project, its progress and milestones.
- To build a community free from the practice of FGM, curses, myths and taboos.
- Advocate and campaign for the protection of female human rights.
- Engage FGM survivors to assist in the campaign.
- Train selected leaders to advocate the FGM campaign in their local areas.
- Research and discover the root causes of FGM in order to address them.
- Produce and translate FGM materials for field campaigns.
- Offer refuge to girls in danger of FGM and/or early marriages.
- Make referrals for women suffering from fistula conditions to hospitals for corrective surgeries.
- The lives of over 20,000 girls have been transformed through the project!
It is hoped the project will be financially sustainable through:
- Income from the Abundant Life Centre’s farm including: dairy, poultry, sheep and pig keeping and vegetable farming.
- Income from workshops at the centre (attendance and certificate fee).
- Income from regular donors.
- Support from the global Loreto Sisters Community.
Nyumbani Village Scholarships
Nyumbani Village was developed in 2004 to support 1,100 children and grandparents displaced by the AIDS epidemic. Approximately 1.1 million Kenyan children are orphaned due to AIDS and over 200,000 children under the age of 14 are infected with AIDS.
These children lack basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, but they also lack medical, psychological, spiritual care, parental love and educational opportunities. The Village itself is located in an area of poor climate with less than 700mm of rainfall annually, little or no industrial activity, and very poor economic prospects.
The Nyumbani Village provides a stable home for the most vulnerable. Even in poverty-stricken and dry areas of Africa it is possible to live in safe shelter and receive an education.
- Provide quality tertiary education to two orphans from the Nyumbani Village.
- Gain employment or start their own businesses to become self-reliant and financially secure.
- Upon graduation and once they have gained employment, each scholarship recipient is asked to support their siblings who remain in the Village.
- At present the project partners are investing heavily in Primary and Secondary education in an effort to ensure that students perform very well in their Form IV examinations and gain entry into government funded institutions where they can easily access bursaries and student loans.
- Nyumbani Village has a reintegration program whereby once a family member gains employment, they take their family back to their original home and care for them.
MWIA currently supports two Educational Scholarships and the Children’s Rural Library Program in Vietnam. Ensuring students have the resources and support to complete tertiary education is an important step to creating brighter futures. MWIA is proud of its commitment to the Scholarships which helps young female students attend university.