Right then, I realized the danger of female genital mutilation, having witnessed girls that I knew became very ill from infections resulting from circumcision. I realized early on that the ceremonious act was very dangerous and could kill!
As the girls who survived the act felt they had leapt into another stage in life, and as they reached puberty, continuing with education was no longer a priority. Marriage became the next big thing. I immediately developed interest in girls’ education. After completing y university education and got the opportunity to study in the U.S., with the additional income from my stipend, I begun to provide financial support for the few girls in secondary schools from my village. Upon completion and obtaining a job, I scaled up my support and in 2011, saw the need to form the Hitaji Development Initiative to enable me to formally support the girls in a more organized manner.
Many girls who are unable to continue with school end up in the streets where they become victims of HIV/AIDS, unwed mothers or risk being trafficked. I grew up in Migori therefore l know what it means to go hungry, walk for distances looking for food, water and above all, l know what it means to be discriminated against as a girl. I received education because my father was a big believer in educating girls. Empower a girl through education and you will change the world around her. Education is the key that opens many doors of opportunities!
66 million girls worldwide do not have the chance to go to school. Girls from poor families in Migori County and in Kenya as a country, are faced with many challenges due to the complex social, political, traditional, and economical factors. Everything from marriage practices to disease, poverty, and seasonal labor requirements contribute to this catastrophe, which threatens the well-being of Hitaji sponsored girls.