Protecting the Girls of Esiteti

There are fewer cases of early marriage, female circumcision,
fistula and HIV when boys and girls attend school.”

-Dr. Japheth Mati, Kenyan Doctor, Author and Scholar

In order to safe-guard the girls and to reinforce the Esiteti community’s decision to stop female circumcision, ASK is raising the necessary funds for a five-year Alternative Rite-of-Passage program ensuring the safety of at-risk girls. Three ARP ceremonies a year will be conducted beginning 2013 through 2017. By 2017, our goal is to have trained women from the community to oversee their own ARP ceremonies.

Alternative Rite-of-Passage Pilot Program

alternative-rite-of-passage-girlsAs a result of education, parents of the Esiteti community recognize the importance of having their daughters attend school. They seem willing to stop the traditional custom of female circumcision, which usually leads to early marriage.

An Alternative Rite-of-Passage ceremony was designed and implemented by ASK and conducted for 52 girls ages 12 to 15.

A two-day pilot program was designed and implemented by ASK on August 17 & 18, 2012. The program followed a traditional ceremony with an educational component added, and no genital cutting was involved. A trained nurse and two Maasai women were hired to discuss the health risks of being circumcised, and other such topics as the Kenyan laws protecting girls, early marriage, reproductive heath, HIV/AIDS, birth control, sexual harassment, and self-esteem.

Documentary

The pilot Alternative Rite-of-Passage was filmed and documented by Candace Schermerhorn of Santa Barbara. Emma Morris of New York is currently doing the editing. A short documentary on ASK’s and Esiteti’s first Alternative Rite-of-Passage will premier early 2013.

Nelly telling her story about refusing to be circumcised.

Nelly telling her story about refusing to be circumcised.