Kenya: Church Tipped On Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

April 17, 2005, Nakuru

A Kenyan nun leading a massive campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriages among communities within the Catholic dioceses of Nakuru and Ngong has asked parishes to support the campaign and include it in their overall pastoral plans.

Sr Ephigenia Gachiri IBVM, who has been campaigning against the vice since 1999, was speaking on Sunday, April 17, 2005, during a Christian rite of passage, where little girls who had been taken through a training graduated at Kipsaraman Parish, Nakuru Diocese.

More than 100 girls took an oath against the practice during the ceremony.

“FGM is a practice marred in mythology, backward beliefs and religion;” she said, “a collective approach from all the stakeholders is needed to stamp out the problem.”

“I hope parishes in the most affected areas will agree to incorporate the lessons into their normal catechesis, and [that] the girls who pass out during such ceremonies would be getting confirmed,” Sr Gachiri told CISA.

The Loreto sister has produced a video and a book on the effects of FGM.

She has now drawn a syllabus in which 30 lessons incorporated in the alternative rite will be spread throughout the year during the normal catechetical formation.

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