4HER! Movement Lets Make a difference! Wanjala Wafula is the founder and Executive Director of the Coexist Initiative, a multi-global award winning Kenyan NGO working across Kenya and the entire East and Central Africa region to promote gender transformation, human rights and social justice. He is also the co-founder and co-chair of the Kenya National Men’s Alliance for Gender Justice. Established in 2005, Coexist has quickly established itself as a pioneer in promoting gender transformation, and advancing human rights by targeting men and boys as its key cluster. As Executive Director, Wafula oversees budgetary duties of the organization and coordinates a team of 30 staff working across Kenya. He also coordinates the consultancy arm of the organization currently with fifteen organizations across the world. To learn more visit http://coexist.co.ke/
http://www.coexist.co.ke/files/Downloads/Samburu-Beads-of-Death.pdf Samburu girls, as young as ten from Northern
Kenya are being exposed to death and life threatening complications including
crude abortions, excessive bleeding, sepsis, fistula, segregation and expulsion
from society because of an ongoing archaic cultural practice called beading. The practice allows warriors (Moran’s) to
qualify as “legal” boyfriends accepted by
the community, sadly with the consent of the family and facilitated by mothers.
The girls are often married by 12-14, their youth
and naivety preventing them from doing anything about it. Beading
allows a Moran to buy a girl he fancies from his clan, basically a family
member and places beads on her neck. This acts as a sign of ‘engagement’. He is
allowed to have sex with her. However, he cannot marry her, and they must not
have a child. When the girl gets pregnant, her mother and fellow clan women
conduct crude abortions. The women press the girl’s abdomen with their elbows
until the fetus dies. When they carry the pregnancy to term and give birth, the
child is killed using a concoction of tobacco and traditional herbs.
Additionally, Samburu girls are repressed by
diverse attributes of male dominance, controlled by traditional perceptions of
a woman, and abused by the time-honoured customs.
The prejudice against Samburu girls is about
gender and sexuality. Many Samburu girls have witnessed horrific scenes
characterized by rape, violence, abandonment, starvation, hate and the list is
endless. Samburu girls face well-documented economic,
socio-cultural, biological and protection barriers that make it more difficult
for them - as girls - to access quality education. Demands on their time,
conceptions of their gendered roles in the family and community, and biological
factors related to their reproductive health are all obstacles to their access
to quality education.
What your support means $ 5 worth a month of the much needed sanitary towels. $10 worth of exercise books for one girl for the entire school term. $10 for two solar lamps. $15 worth of 500 brochures in the vernacular language. $20 to host a community forum to discuss the dangers of beading and promoting girls education.