Bergen Sentrum

Bergen Sentrum

fredag 21. mai 2010

Wazalendo's project in Kenya

Proposal for the Prevention of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and Early Marriage in Laikipia North District


1.0 PROJECT SUMMARY

ROPE: This an acronym for Reaching Out to Pastoralist Girl Child Education, an organization involved in prevention of Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting in Laikipia North district. It symbolizes a rope, an essential tool in a Maasai woman’s life- for building houses, carrying water and fire wood and tying the donkey during migration in times of drought. It is registered by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development. The main goal of this organization is to use human rights and demand side approach to strengthen the safety and resilience of women by creating awareness on the effects of FGM/C and promoting girl child education in under-served areas of Laikipia North by securing a prosperous future for indigenous communities.

The pastoralist community of Laikipia North is steeped in its culture which includes female genital mutilation and cutting and early or forced marriages which have disenfranchised women for years. Domestic violence and lack of women representation in community/household decision making are common occurrences.
With high illiteracy and poverty levels, the community of Laikipia North lacks modern living basic tools to sustain their livelihoods and those of their posterity. Women and girls bear the brunt of this situation more than men.

In view of this situation, ROPE was formed to address these challenges with its core mandate of securing livelihoods of the indigenous women as well as facilitating them to advance and protect their aspirations collectively. By creating awareness on the negative consequences of FGM/C and the importance of girl child education, this organization has the up hill task of changing a community’s long held belief in female circumcision and early marriages which has been almost impossible due to lack of funding for such critical support like office space, basic office running items and travel costs for advocacy, a crucial component of the project.

2.0 BACKGROUND

Laikipia North is one of the districts of the larger Laikipia, located in the northern Rift Valley province of Kenya. It has a population of 25,881 people and covers 1,250 KM2. The district has 2 divisions, 10 locations and 14 sub locations.
The literacy level is 36.1%. This is extremely low compared to the national literacy rate of 85% for men and 75% for women. In lower primary school, the ratio of girls to boys is 10:15, in class 5-6 the ratio is 5:10, while in class 7-8, the ratio is 2:7. These ratios demonstrate a marked decline in the attendance of girls although boys also drop out to join moranism or herdsmanship but it should be noted their decline is less dramatic.

Resource allocation processes at both the national and devolved government units have historically tended to give most attention to urban and peri-urban areas and populations. Despite the allocation of Community Development Funds to constituencies, decision making and prioritization is done at the constituency office which is in the urban Laikipia East district. Thus, the rural remote nomadic populations of Laikipia north especially the women, have not had its interests properly taken care of regarding issues of resource allocation and distribution. As a result this, the community has continued with its harmful age-old traditional practices.
JUSTIFICATION FOR FUNDING

The WHO estimates that 85% of all the girls who undergo the practice drop out of school and eventually find themselves in forced and/or early marriages. Medical emergencies arising from FGM/C complications are common and often lead to death. FGM/C also exposes the girls to contracting HIV. This is due to the fact that, when it is done at home, a common blade/instrument is used in cutting, heightening the risk of contamination and/or exposure to other infections/diseases. Due to the strict local culture, the majority of girls/women have no formal education and lack access to vital information on the harmful effects of FGM/C and early marriages. They have no say in the decision to either have/not have FGM or get married.

This proposal arises from the long standing experience and in depth observations by ROPE of actual deplorable conditions for women and girls in the pastoralist communities of Laikipia North in respect to their reproductive health.

Through community dialogue, advocacy campaigns, training of various groups and providing alternative rite of passage, this project will give the community a culturally acceptable and medically safe means of initiating girls into womanhood. It will further give the girls a chance to pursue their education thus improving their quality of life and that of their entire community.

These activities require regular traveling into the community, yet the project has not had any funding and relies on individual initiatives of group members. If the current proposal is funded, ROPE intends to embark on the above listed activities in an attempt lead to reduced prevalence of FGM/C and early/forced marriages.
PROJECT DESIGN
Project Goal

Use of a human rights and demand elevation approach to strengthen the safety and resilience of women by creating awareness on the harmful effects of FGM/C and promoting girl child education in under-served areas of Laikipia North.

Broad Objective

The project intends to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting and early marriages in Laikipia North District, by 20%, within five years.

Specific Objectives : The project intends to accomplish the following objectives:-

1. Create community awareness of the emotional, psychological, and physical risks associated with FGM/C and early marriages, and violation of fundamental human rights, as well as the laws of Kenya.
2. Provide a forum for community members to communicate openly about FGM/C and early marriage, across generational barriers.
3. Form community working groups for promotion of ownership by stakeholders
4. Provide a culturally acceptable alternative to FGM/C
5. Provide a safe haven for girls unwilling to undergo FGM/C and early marriage for further education

Target Groups

• Girls and boys enrolled in primary schools – These are the potential adults/parents. Providing them with information and education about the harm that FGM/C contributes to girls/women and to society at large will lay a good foundation for the eradication of this practice.
• Girls and boys not enrolled in school - These are the potential adults/parents. Providing them with information and education about the harm that FGM/C contributes to girls/women and to society at large will lay a good foundation for the eradication of this practice.
• Parents – FGM/C is not a ‘women’s problem’ but a societal problem. Sensitizing and educating parents will provide a basis for ensuring that the practice is reduced and consequently eradicated
• Teachers – Due to the position they hold in society, teachers are very important change agents. They command respect in society and if they educate those who go through the education system, the practice will surely be reduced and consequently be eradicated in future
• Community – Since FGM/C is a societal problem, all members of communities that practice it should be sensitized so that there is a complete understanding of the problem.
• Elected leaders – Sensitizing elected leaders about the harm that is contributed by FGM/C helps a great deal since the community depends on them for guidance. They will therefore be very important change agents. Their contribution is of great magnitude.

Beneficiaries
Primary Beneficiaries
Girls

Secondary Beneficiaries
Women

Tertiary Beneficiaries
Community at large

Expected results
A timely and proper implementation of the interventions is expected to yield the following outcomes:-

1. Awareness by the community as a whole on the harmful effects of FGM/C to women’s health.
2. Improved health status and safety for local women and young girls.
3. Reduced MMR by 5% in 5 years
4. Reduced IMR by 5% in 5 years
5. Improved girls’ literacy levels at upper primary level to 13:15 ratio in 5 years
6. Enhanced decision making skills for women
7. Reduced cases of abortion procured locally in unsafe, unsanitary and cruel ways
8. Enhanced capacities of the community and partner organizations in driving forward their health and social agenda on behalf of pastoralist communities.

Strategies to achieve the expected results above (Ordered in respect of each result)

• Girl child enrollment and retention in primary schools
• Community dialogue on female related issues
• Formation of working groups at lower levels
• Formation of human rights clubs in primary schools
• Introduction of guidance and counseling activities in schools
• Youth friendly reproductive health services in health facilities
• Regular alternative rite of passage ceremonies in the communities
• Partner support in anti FGM/early marriage activities

PARTNERSHIP
• Government Officials - These are the policy implementers at community level and are resource persons in enforcement of the policies/laws
 Health workers and teachers will teach reproductive health issues and help in forming human rights clubs in schools
• Local authorities – elected local authorities officials are decision makers at community level and will help the project to be heard
• CSOs – as advocates of the civil rights of community members they will assist in mobilization and sensitization of community members
• NGOs –The network of NGOs will assist in logistical support and sharing of lessons learnt
• Community members – participation and ownership is crucial for the sustainability of the project.




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