Msichana Empowerment Kuria is a grassroots based organization founded in 2013 and registered in 2015 as a community based organization. We work in two locations: Bukira North and Bukira Central, respective of the Kuria West Sub-County with a population of approximately 50,000.
Our core purpose is to eradicate female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) through the promotion of positive community-wide behaviour change. We acknowledge FGM/C as the greatest form of violence against women and girls, exposing the myths and misconceptions surrounding the practice and girl child in the Kuria tradition, concentrating on education based initiatives, and advocating for gender equity through the socio-empowerment of disadvantaged women and girls. It is our strong conviction that women and girls despite their background or age should be allowed to live free from any form of violence and make informed choices concerning their lives.
We recognize our community’s rampant and sustained illiteracy and the negative consequences this has on the continuation of FGM/C. However, we believe that the next generation of educated youths can greatly contribute to the end of FGM/C. Because schools in the Kuria disctrict, with large class sizes and minimal resources can only do so much, our community center, the Maclyne Community Library hosts nearly 500 children and adolescents (8-13) every week. Established in 2016 as the first youth centre and library of its kind within a 50km radius, the Maclyne provides an after school program to address the educational, social, and development challenges and potential learning gaps of standard three students. Our curriculum emphasizes comprehension, human rights education, and confidence building. This initiative, in its second year, has witnessed improved school performance and an increase in school attendance and retention among its participants.
We use continue to use education to drive social change by providing school incentives to 24 significantly impoverished families that have refused to circumcise and marry off their girls. Every year, through personal contributions and in-kind donations, we support up to 1,000 girls in our partner schools with sanitary towels to prevent absenteeism during menstruation. We have seen girls’ school attendance and retention increase tremendously by approximately 10%.
Through collaboration with local partners, individual supporters, and volunteers we have provided capacity development and skills training to over 1,000 women: widows, survivors of FGM and child marriages, and those affected and infected by HIV. 60% of these women have gone on to open and run their own income generating activities by way of women groups and small businesses. Over 80% have shown an increase in self-confidence and feel able to speak up to defend their rights.
We are determined to support the realization of an FGM free Kuria.