[Province of Congo] The Daughters of Charity, the founders of ATFGM*, have embraced the villagers from Rogoro Parish in Musoma Diocese with a holistic approach to health, education, social services and pastoral enthusiasm. The Daughters came to Masanga in 2006 to conduct an assessment of needs, utilizing home visits, and learning Swahili and the tribal language of Kurya. Establishing official residency 2007, the Sisters have collaborated with the local people from the surrounding 8 villages to improve the quality of life for the local population of 40,000, with initial changes including offering quality health care by improving the existing community clinic, providing education for the children, drilling for clean accessible water, and installing Internet connectivity for use at the medical clinic.
*ATFGM [Association for Termination of Female Genital Mutilation] is a non-governmental organization. It is based in Masanga, Tarime, in Mara North Tanzania in Kurya cultural Centre.
MISSION: Promote and protect the quality of life, the rights and quality of girls and women and ensure their freedom from all coercion.
- Ensure that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is abolished completely from the society.
- Educate the society on the effects of the brutality and gender stigmatization related to FGM.
- Educate and inform the society on the respect and humanity of a person as a human being, human rights and equality.
- Form smaller ATFGM groups in different parts / areas in order to protect and serve many girls.
ACTIVITIES OF ATFGM
- Create community awareness of emotional and physical risks associated with female genital mutilation.
- Psycho-social counseling to those who are affected by female genital mutilation.
- Tracing children: since they don’t want to undergo FGM they run out of their home during the time of conducting FGM so after that season they are being helped to go back to their families.
- A rescue camp is being prepared by TFGM during the season of conducting FGM for the girls who have run away from their homes. While camping they are being taught about an Alternative Rite of Passage, life skills, and school subjects and at the end they are awarded certificates.
ACHIEVEMENTS ATTAINED BY ATFGM
- We conducted six rescue camps each month of December from 2008 to 2014.
- The girls, who have passed through the Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) offered in Masanga center, have been saved from: early marriage, child pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, forced female genital mutilation (FGM) and saved from stopping their education.
- The Association achieved the opening of the Kurya Cultural Center (KCC) whereby the Traditional elders and mutilators who have said NO to FGM have decided to give the history of their culture by bringing the cultural items to the Kurya Cultural Center.
- 14 ex- mutilators (ex-Ngaribas) have said NO to FGM.
- We succeeded to train eleven (12) mutilators (Ngariba) who have been awarded certificates
- Participation in the International Women’s Day celebrations at Morogoro where His Excellence President Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete awarded the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Tanzania as the founder of the Association.
CHALLENGES FACED BY ATFGM
- Shortage of water around the campus especially during December rescue camp
- FGM is still done openly here and girls are forced to undergo it.
Every enlightened person is invited to be a member of ATFGM and participate fully in eradicating Female Genital Mutilation in our society and promoting good Kurya values.