On February 6, 2019, a public declaration for the abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC) within the Masai community was held in Olmesutie, Loita Division in Narok County, Kenya. Over 3,000 people took part in the declaration which was the result of years of work by the local Kenyan Masai organization, SAFE Maa.
“It took years of preparation, pioneering spirits, and commitment to listening and talking openly, all through the work of Orchid Project’s grassroots partner, SAFE Maa.”
Tostan feels honored to have played a role in the process leading to this collective decision by Masai communities to abandon FGC. Five SAFE Maa leaders – Amos, David and Naserian in 2015 and Veronica and Francis in 2018 – had participated in the Tostan “Promoting Community Wellbeing” Training in Senegal. After the training, they reported back that they have successfully used many aspects of the Tostan human rights approach, program content, participatory methodology, and organized diffusion strategy for ending harmful traditional social norms in their grassroots work.
Amos Karino Leuka, Program Manager from SAFE Maa, who participated in the training in April 2015, gave thanks to Tostan in a recorded message on the day of the declaration:
“What did I get from Tostan? I learnt. And when I came back to Loita, I have shared what I learnt from Tostan to my organization and to my community. And all this journey and success is because of the learning I got from Tostan. And I’ve always been proud of the journey that I have chosen. So I always give all the respect to Tostan for what they have done to me and to my community. And I look forward to working with them in future.”
Congratulations to the whole SAFE Maa team, our partners Orchid Project, and the many participants in the program in Kenya! This declaration was a wonderful way to celebrate the international day set aside to encourage the abandonment of FGC – February 6 – and a shining example of the successes made possible through sharing and partnership at the Tostan Training Center (TTC)!
The TTC receives increasing numbers of applications from leaders of dynamic grassroots organizations such as SAFE Maa, based across Africa and beyond. These organizations are passionate about their work and their conviction that attending the “Promoting Community Wellbeing” Training will lead to similar successes and social transformations in their communities. If you are interested in sponsoring a scholarship for one or more of these deserving applicants, please do get in touch.