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In the wake of Nimko Ali Vs #TGGDeliveringChange #TGGDidwell (DFID Grant) 

I will begin by saying engaging youth and grassroots organizations effectively in the fight against FGM is one of the best things that has ever happen in the quest to end FGM. Currently in Africa we have the most youthful generation than there has ever been. Informed youth is the best resource that any country can have at their disposal and the vice versa is true. Remember youth and adolescents stand to benefit most by the achievement of SDGs than anyone else. Don’t forget youth are also vulnerable and can easily be manipulated by small grants. “Conference rooms know more about FGM than community members” This is reason enough to take the end FGM message to the grassroots.

Whether an organization did well or did not do well I beg not to dwell on that conversation for now! I chose to focus on what needs to happen going forward. Those who know me I constantly critique what I think is not working and give my recommendation or opinion which is considered or ignored at times. Allow me to say, some of the grants given to grassroots organizations did wonders and others were a total waste. Lastly I wish to say the Youth Network in Kenya lacked the basic structures, please don’t ask me about other countries I live in Kenya.

As the African saying goes; “where there is smoke there must be fire”. Going forward we need to make sure this huge investment made for the sake of our women and girls is utilized to the last coin in the most efficient way. We need not seem to be in competition with each other as activists and organizations but be in competition with the ‘monster’ called Female Genital Mutilation that we aim to slay by 2030.

My recommendations:

  1. This grant should not be awarded to a single entity/organization by any means, let’s have different components controlled by different organizations.
  2. Many Grassroots organizations lack structures. To solve this, we need several regional accountants and project managers in countries of operation. (Divide each country into regions and have satellite offices to monitor activities of the grassroots organizations)
  3. Pick certain number of grassroots organizations to work with and scale up gradually during the time of implementation based on performance and other parameters (in the first phase we went for quantity other than quality, consistency is also key)                                                                                                        
  4. Have innovations and ideas development department (Many youths have brilliant ideas that need to be explored)
  5. Aim to maximize the impact of our activities
  6. Move the conversations from conference rooms both at national and the grassroots
  7. Aim to bring up flexible activists who are able to judge their context to maximize impact. (Some components like “Do no harm”and social change communication have not been so well conceptualized among activists)
  8. Seek to engage more men and boys in the fight against FGM


Those who may have a question about this post can get clarifications by mailing me


Tony Mwebia

Tony Mwebia

Gender Equality Advocate, Writer, Activist & Consultant

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