THARAKA WOMEN'S WELFARE PROGRAM
" WE ENVISION A SOCIETY WHERE THE VOICES OF OUR WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE VALUED, ALLOWING THEM TO PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY IN EMPOWERING AND DEVELOPING THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES."
The story of TWWP
In October of 1995, Aniceta Kiriga had the courage to take a stand against Female Genital Mutilation - a practice with the rate of 99.5% at that time. The dangers of the practice sent Aniceta into action as her own daughter approached the age at which girls are circumcised. She founded the Tharaka Women’s Welfare Program - TWWP - as a community-based organization with the mission of working to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation - FGM.
Through grassroots efforts, TWWP advocates, educates, and mobilizes the community about the harmful effects of FGM while also providing the Alternative Rite of Passage for the girls of the community. She reaches over 200 girls each year, educating them on the risks of FGM. The ARP reaches out to girls between the ages of 10 and 16, educating them on women's health and sexual health education. As an incentive for the girls and their families, the TWWP offers education scholarships along with supplies for feminine hygiene.
The mothers of these children were so inspired by their girls that, they too, sought after education. TWWP expanded into helping found literacy groups that empower the women of the community. The groups give them the ability to share the same joy and excitement education brings to their daughters.
Many interventions by others were not working effectively, as they were unable to understand FGM within its cultural context. The ARP is a different strategy in combating the practice of FGM; it takes FGM as the model, keeping the cultural traditions, but substituting the actual cut for a different traditional cut—that of a celebratory cake!