Arusha Project


Aang Sarian
July 20, 2009, 6:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
CBO working on FGM in rural Masai communitiesCBO working on FGM in rural Masai communities

Aang Sarian works to prevent female genital mutilation in rural Massai villages through education and  creating alternative rights of passage.  heir organization is comprised of women who have been circumcised, ex-circumcisers, women who have run away from their homes to avoid circumcision, and concerned community members.  There are 5 common reasons for FGM in the Massai community found by Aang Sarian, which are the focus of their educational campaigns.  They are: provides a common challenge for young girls to attain womanhood, purification (prevention of lao lao, vaginal bacterial infection), faithfulness (control of women’s sexuality by taking away pleasure), education about womanhood, and as a ceremonial graduation of celebration for these young women.  Aang Sarian has worked through all of these, although the first still provides a challenge.   They have a secondary school for the young girls who have left their homes to avoid circumcision, peer educators who conduct seminars to combat myths related to FGM, provide alternative income generating projects for ex-circumcisers, promote and create modified rights of passage where the entire ceremony is the same, but the cutting does not occur, and members to patrol FGM ceremonies to ask that the cutting doesn’t occur.  They have been successful in eliminating FGM in 11 villages thus far, but face serious funding challenges that halt their ability to expand.  Today we have the honor of attending a modified right of passage ceremony, we’ll let you know what it’s like later on in the week.

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