Briefcase NGOs using anti-FGM campaign to fleece donors - Shebesh

Elders bless girls at Archers Post in Samburu county after the approval of education as an alternative to the FGM rite of passage, April 20, 2018. /MARTIN RWAMBA
Elders bless girls at Archers Post in Samburu county after the approval of education as an alternative to the FGM rite of passage, April 20, 2018. /MARTIN RWAMBA

The government is cracking down on briefcase NGOs taking advantage of the anti-FGM campaign to make quick money.

Malicious people are using the campaign to fleece donors, making the effort lose its credibility,

Rachel Shebesh said on Friday.

Shebesh is the

Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the ministry of Public Service, Gender and Youth Affairs.

“We know of illegal NGOs that are going to counties where FGM is rampant, taking photos of innocent girls and using them to illegally acquire money from donors," she said.

She spoke at Archers Post in Samburu county, where 353 girls were awarded certificates after elders approved their education as an alternative rite of passage.

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The CAS noted the government's readiness

to go door to door in an effort to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation as it

locks girls and women out of development.

“FGM exposes girls to early marriage, illiteracy, poverty, difficulties in child birth and so on. The government is ready to end this vicious cycle that affects our girls year in year out,” Shebesh said.

Shebesh told county commissioners to closely monitor their chiefs and assistant chiefs as some of them are "enemies" of efforts against the outlawed practice.

“How come FGM continually takes place in homes where the government has a chief and assistant chief yet no one is arrested? This means the chiefs are in collaboration with the perpetrators. We cannot allow this.”

The CAS launched the ‘Koota Injena’

project which will run for three years in Samburu and Marsabit counties.

Koota injena

is a Borana phrase meaning 'Come, lets dialogue’. It is aimed at finding alternatives to FGM through talks with elders and communities at large.

Samburu County Commissioner John Korir, Woman Representative Maison Leshoomo, Gender Principal secretary Safina Kwekwe and Anti-FGM board CEO

Benedict Loloju were some of the guests at the event sponsored by USAID.