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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Reformed practitioners of Female Genital Mutilation receive aid

June 21, 2011
Daily Monitor
Steven Ariong

At least 254 former traditional surgeons of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Sebei have received grinding machines to start up alternative means of living after they voluntarily left the age-old vice.

The machines were donated by Inter-African committee Uganda (IACU), one of the NGOs based in Kapchorwa District with funds from Danida. While handing over the machines to the former surgeons in Kapchorwa last week, Mr Geoffrey Sande the program coordinator Inter African Committee Uganda, said the machines were procured inform of support to former FGM surgeons who have left the practice so that they can continue with their daily living since they have been claiming the practice was their source of living.

Mr Sande said apart from grinding machines, the three groups also received thermal generators which will be installed to supply power to the trading centres without electricity and at the end of the month they collect money.

“We looked at this as the way to attract those who are still doing the practice,” he said. Mr Sande said bank accounts have been opened for them to deposit the money they collect. He said the practice is slowly stopping in Kapchorwa and Amudat districts. However, most parents are sneaking with their children into Kenya to undergo FGM.

While receiving the machines Ms Stima Chepto, who was well known for cutting women in Bukwo, now the beneficiary of the project, thanked the NGO for the support and promised that they will work with government to arrest those who are still encouraging the practice. She said the practice was their means of survival although the government was pushing it out. “We would have left circumcising women long time ago but we were not sure on how our daily income would be, but now since we are supported it will be the end,” Ms Chepto said.