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Church sets up an FGM rescue centre in Marakwet

Girls from the Marakwet community who had turned up for sensitization against FGM as part of the activities to mark the 16 days of activism against GBV.
Girls from the Marakwet community who had turned up for sensitization against FGM as part of the activities to mark the 16 days of activism against GBV.

The Chorwa African Inland Church in Marakwet East Sub- County has set up a rescue centre to offer shelter to girls running away from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The Elgeyo Marakwet county deputy governor Prof. Grace Cheserek said the centre will offer temporary shelter to 50 girls before they can go back home once the threat of being mutilated is over.

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The DG was speaking at the church when she received double decker beds and assorted beddings from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) worth Sh1.7 million to cater for the girls.

The DG said the donation was timely given that it was coming at a time when the rite is undertaken in the area and therefore it will cater for girls who don’t want to undergo the rite but have nowhere to run to.

She however reminded the community that FGM had been outlawed in the country and urged them to report anyone forcing girls to undergo FGM to the authorities so that action can be taken.

Prof. Cheserek said as the country embarks on the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, it was time to say no to any form of violence against women and children FGM being one of the most prevalent forms of violence in the area.

“We are appealing to parents and the society in general to give a chance to children to flourish as they are the future of our society,” she said.

She called on the community to take care of the girls to be the leaders of tomorrow citing herself saying if she was not given the opportunity, she wouldn’t be the leader and the scholar she is now.

The DG said the county is in the process of coming up with a program on alternative rite of passage for girls to replace FGM.

She added that they were also looking for funds to come up with a rescue centre to take care of other forms of GBV noting that even men were undergoing domestic violence but feared reporting saying they also need a place to shelter as the issues are being addressed.

Paul Masese from the centre for enhancing democracy and good governance called for cooperation from the community in safeguarding the rights of children.

He said while through the UNFPA they had also donated some food items, it may not be enough and called on the community to donate food to the rescue centre for the one or so months the girls will be there.

Reverend Joseph Cheserek who is in charge of the church said they were ready to take care of the girls not only through provision of basic facilities but also spiritually.

 

KNA
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