Yes, the youth can indeed end FGM!
By Lorna, Anti-FGM Activist in Kenya
Children and young people up to the age of 24 account for up to 70 percent of the population of most developing countries. They represent enormous potential for social and political change indicators for four of the eight Millennium Development Goals. (MDG 2, 3, 4 and 6) specifically mention girls and boys at the target group for other MDG’s particularly in the field of sex and reproductive health. (GIZ, 2011)
We are the Change makers, the Revolutionaries. A new beginning starts with us. A new world is definitely molded by us. We are the voices and the driving force of the developments to eliminate harmful customs and traditional practices.
We are the Pacesetters; the future of the next generation is destined in us.
We are the shapers of this world, we can shape it the way we want. We have the power to advocate for change.
We are the innovators, most ideas generate from us. We have the right technology that we can incorporate to end FGM.
We have the energy to work, energy to lead, ability to influence decision making, ability to influence policy formation and law enforcement.
We have unique talents: ability to sing, write, dance, poets. We can use our various talents to drive anti-FGM messages home.
We are the future leaders, doctors, midwives, social workers, and teachers. We are therefore supposed to take up the leadership roles now. We are practically the leaders of this country. Let us use this power to direct and influence change.
It is necessary that we learn now why FGM and early child/forced marriages are wrong so that we can grow in a society that condemns these practices. Do we in the first place really know about the practice? How can we influence change without the knowledge? Let’s start by empowering young people with the right information through education. Education is key in eradicating this practice, we need to pioneer for interactive resources that can be used in a classroom setting, both formal and informal education, Mali and Burkina Faso have done it. This way, children do not accept FGM unquestionably as an inviolable tradition. Through education, young people learn to think for themselves and make decisions for themselves and future families.
We need to realize that we cannot work as stand-alone entities. Let’s come together, tap into available resources, converge all our unique talents and abilities, form a national movement, speak with one voice and move with synergy towards eradicating FGM and other social malpractices. Let’s create a national dialogue and create relationship with all the activists campaigning against FGM.
Let us not focus on teaching young people solely from FGM affected background; it is necessary to educate all young people.
FGM is a human right abuse and therefore “Everybody’s business… It is my business…
This blog was initially published on Lorna’s Musings on November 17th 2015
Sing. Shout. Smile. Laugh. Live. #EndFGM
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