In northern Tanzania, an ancestral custom that continues to affect women, especially in rural communities, is still in place: excision.
Run by the Daughters of Charity, themselves accompanied by committed volunteers, the ATFGM centre in Masanga works to promote respect for the body by raising awareness among families to counter this imposed mutulation.
In addition to these awareness-raising workshops, the sisters help these young girls who have fled their homes to recreate links with their families to ease tensions.
When the bond is definitively broken and the families no longer want to hear about their child, the Daughters of Charity welcome the young girls into the home. They take care of them while they wait to find the funds to send them to boarding schools which will help them to form themselves and become independent.
By the end of 2019, a total number of 557 children had already been accommodated at the Masanga relief centre since its creation. Among them, 163 girls were totally rejected by their parents after an unsuccessful attempt at reconciliation and had to be sent to boarding schools.
This year, 90 girls have been able to benefit from donor support to access boarding school and 73 others are waiting their turn to join a school.
In 2019, 10 young girls have been supported by the donors of the Rosalie Projects!
Among them, Sabina, a 16 year old girl brutally rejected by her parents because she refused to be mutilated. She was welcomed at the ATFGM centre for advice and support. She cried a lot at the thought of not being able to finish her studies. Despite the centre's efforts to reconcile her with her parents, they no longer wanted to hear from her.
Sabina thus benefited from the project funded by the platform Projets Rosalie. She had lost all hope of continuing her studies, but thanks to her courage and tenacity, she was able to continue her studies in a boarding school with very good results.
Another young girl, after 2 years of trying to reconcile her with her parents, was finally able to see them again in peace. During these two years, she had not been able to visit or talk to them. The parents agreed to change their minds and were made aware of the harmful effects of excision. They promised that they would no longer try to force the mutilation on her. The ATFGM follows up to ensure that the girls who regain contact with their families are safe at home.
Today, we are gradually observing the impact of our awareness-raising activities in rural communities. Some families are gradually changing their views on traditional beliefs and understanding the harmful effects of female genital mutilation. Tribal chiefs, parents, local leaders act as agents of change within their own communities, which is very important for the people. They are an example and have some influence on the evolution of these practices.
We deeply thank the Rosalie Projects for the great support given to our daughters who, thanks to you, have been able to follow their schooling serenely since 2018.
The number of young women who need our help is still very high.
They deserve their place in society and education and training are essential to help them find it.
We continue to seek funds to finance the studies of young girls and above all to raise awareness among families so that this barbarity stops.
We thank you for your unfailing commitment at our side so that our young girls continue their studies and become autonomous.