My advise to international NGOs on dealing with FGM & Child marriages

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I can authoritatively state international NGOs working in Africa need to change their strategies when it comes to funding projects dealing with harmful cultural practices like child marriages and female genital mutilation. In most cases you find out the practicing communities are spread across two adjacent neighboring countries. The only thing that differentiates these community members is the international border that separates them to different citizenship. But deep down they are the same community with similar social norms and cultural values entrenched in them.

Here I am looking at communities like Somalis found at the border of Kenya and Somalia, Maasais found at the border of Kenya and Tanzania, Kuria at the border of Kenya and Tanzania, Pokot at the border of Kenya and Uganda among many other examples in Africa. My question is what impact does an international NGO that funds a project on FGM or child marriages on one side of the border expect to achieve without duplicating the same project on the other side. How do you change the community partially?

It’s the high time the financiers of such projects saw the need to duplicate similar projects across the borders. Simply we can have different partners in different adjacent countries implementing same project to increase efficiency in bringing the deserved change.

Tony Mwebia

Tony Mwebia

Gender Equality Advocate, Writer, Activist & Consultant

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