Project information

Eradicating FGM in Kenya through Alternative Rites

We're helping to end FGM in Kenya! Kenyans tell us that the best way is to replace FGM with an alternative rite of passage for girls. We're training local people in Kenya's Rift Valley to run alternative coming of age courses for thousands of girls, so that the whole community repudiates FGM.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Friends Of Kipkelion

Friends Of Kipkelion logo
  • Need


    FGM has long been practised in Kenya's Rift Valley as a coming of age ritual for girls. It is extremely dangerous and can lead to infection and infertility, and mental traumas for the girls. It also often results in girls dropping out of school (aged 14) and getting married early. This leads to a cycle of poorly educated, low income families. FGM has been illegal in Kenya for some years and is widely disapproved of, but the practice persists in rural areas.


    We have worked with a Kenyan women's organisation to devise an Alternative Rite of Passage course which replaces FGM. Girls coming of age will attend a week long residential course in their village where trained local facilitators will teach them about their community traditions and values and stress the importance of education and relationships based on mutual respect. The course ends with a ceremony at which chiefs elders and parents endorse the alternative rite and speak out against FGM.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To eradicate FGM in Kipkelion and surrounding areas of Kenya's Rift Valley


    » Train and organise up to 70 local volunteers to run Alternative Rites of Passage courses for up to 1000 girls in Kenya during the circumcision season

    What success will look like

    We regularly do surveys of attitudes to FGM in the area and monitor the number of families publicly repudiating it. Local hospitals also monitor reported cases.

  • Impact


    Eliminating FGM will result in fewer injuries to girls, fewer obstetric problems, fewer early marriages, more girls completing secondary school, better economic prospects for women and their families. These changes will be reflected in educational and health statistics collected by the Kenya Government and ourselves.


    The running of the courses can be disrupted by unplanned community events, eg funerals. Usually we can work around this. In some cases FGM is only deferred rather than repudiated; pressure from local chiefs and elders can prevent this. Political instability in Kenya could also jeopardise the project but this is considered a low risk.


    We will report back on the number of facilitators trained and courses held, we will summarise the feedback from the girls who took part, and present the results of the survey of attitudes to FGM following the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,100 Training Annual Learning seminar for up to 70 facilitators
      £3,500 Courses Course manuals, pens, paper for 1000 girls
      £350 Publicity Posters, leaflets, banners to publicise events
      £1,400 Subsistence Meals for girls and facilitators during courses
      £650 Monitoring Post project survey and feedback collection
  • Background


    Kipkelion is 1000 square miles of rural Kenya - remote and mountainous, with a population of 250,000 who live by subsistence farming. Half the population live below Kenya's national poverty line. In the past the area has suffered from political unrest and remains somewhat under developed.


    Up to 1,000 girls aged around 14 years old, who would otherwise be at risk of FGM; also their families, their future partners and their future children.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been operating in Kipkelion since 2011. We have excellent local partners and strong links with the local community. We have been running Alternative Rites of Passage courses in the area for several years and they have been a proven success.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mary Kabiru

    Mary is the person in charge of our projects in Kipkelion. She is a very experienced and energetic leader.

    Richard Kirui

    Richard is the Field Officer for our work in eradicating FGM and is totally dedicated to organising the work thoroughly and efficiently.


...will protect 5 girls in Kenya from FGM