The Safe Project, Kenya
The Safe Project
Up until very recently, 99% of young girls in the Loita Hills, southwest Kenya, underwent the procedure of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – a rite of passage practiced in many cultures around the world, including in some Maasai communities.
Since 2010, FGM survivor and abolition advocate, Sarah Tenoi, has been blazing the trail for cultural change within Maasai communities. Through her role as project manager for SAFE Maa, a project committed to steering change in FGM practices in Kenya, Sarah has been sparking critical conversations within communities about the age-old practice; questioning for the first time both ethics and necessity.
Exodus has endorsed the work of SAFE Maa since 2013 and together we have raised £95,000 to continue the educational workshops and public performances that are so critical to spreading the abolition message in rural and isolated communities.
Momentously, SAFE Maa gained enough traction within the Loita Maasai community that a Declaration of Abandonment was announced by community elders in February 2019 and an alternate rite of passage was simultaneously blessed. The declaration marked a historic step to sustainably end this outdated tradition in the Loita Hills.
Remarkably, in a very short period, SAFE Maa’s steadfast commitment along with our donations has garnered tangible results. In 2020, over 30% of girls in the Loita Hills are now avoiding the cut and are graduating to womanhood through the new Loita Rite of Passage (LRP).
SAFE Maa continue to broaden their scope beyond the Loita Hills area and strive to sustainably end FGM practices in all Maasai communities.
Declaration of abandonment day February 2019
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