Alternative Rites of Passage ceremonies are the central way that Beyond FGM, in partnership with Kepsteno Rotwo, seeks to help women and girls escape the knife. At the same time, it is important to help those for whom it is too late; the women and girls who have already been cut.
Everlyn Cheyech, who is a student nurse/midwife and one of our group members, recently came to the rescue of a young girl who had been cut. As a result she was bleeding, almost to death. The girl had been brought to the health centre where Everlyn works. While her wounds had been cared for at the centre, her haemoglobin level of 3 was not duly acknowledged by other staff, and she was in the process of being discharged.
At this point Everlyn stepped in, and arranged for the girl to be taken 80 km to the Government District Hospital. Here, she was given the care she needed, including blood transfusions and antibiotics. Thanks to Everlyn’s timely actions, this girl survived, and is now on the road to recovery. Nonetheless, she will carry the physical and mental scars of her cutting for the rest of her life.
Beyond FGM visited the County Commissioner last week to discuss this case, which is one of many. The team also visited the girl, who remains in hospital care. Unfortunately, such is the trauma she has been through, the girl refuses to give information about her experience. Her most frequent response is “no” and she is unable to give details of the event itself, such as where the cutting happened, or who was with her. It is now thought that she absconded from the hospital before police were able to speak with her about what happened. Despite it’s prevalence, FGM is a crime in Kenya.
BUY A BRICK
It is for girls who live in fear like this, that our rescue centre is being built. You can read more about this project, and buy a brick to support it’s progress at http://beyondfgm.co.uk/buy-a-brick/