FCS funded project inspires Monica to fight FGM


Monica Kisanta has vowed to fight and save dozens of fellow young girls from undergoing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) at her home village of Mogabiri in Tarime District of Mara Region.

This is after receiving awareness training on the health effects caused by FGM and other harmful cultural practices - provided by the Tanzania Youth Health and Development Organization (TAYOHADO) through funds from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

Tarime is said to be one of ‘chronic’ districts in Tanzania where hundreds of schools girls are still forcibly subjected to FGM. Worse still it has not been so easy for non-circumcised girls to get married off in the area.

For the 22 –year old girl, Monica, enough is enough and she now dares to stand firm to protect her young sisters and neighbours from passing though the traumatizing cultural practice which also fuels new cases of HIV infection in the area.

“I feel more empowered – ready to instigate changes in my community. I have three younger sisters and more neighbours in need of my support. I am prepared to do everything possible to prevent them from undergoing FGM,” says Monica.
The FCS grantee (TAYOHADO) is implementing an ambitious one-year project aimed at making Tarime youths say ‘No’ to traditional practices that might push them at a risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

“The situation is alarming and fellow young girls get infected with HIV because of these cultural practices that we cherish,” says Monica.

The cultural practice entails awarding a wide range of gifts to circumcised girls, such as cash prize during the ceremonies. But Monica describes the gifts as useless and vowed to continue with the fight from her clan and beyond.

“I appeal whoever is supporting this initiative not to give up, as the situation in remote areas of Tarime town is still alarming,” says Monica.

After completing her ordinary secondary education in 2012, Monica started a tailoring business at her village - targeting women.

Mr. John Matiko who is TAYOHADO coordinator says Monica is one among 40 youths who have benefited from the anti-FGM awareness drive held recently in Tarime.

“We are always been telling them to spread the word up to the interior parts of their villages,” he said.

TAYOHADO is a CSO dedicated in transforming lives of school and non-school youths in various parts of Tarime district. The organisation is run by local youths who know the chronic problems facing their colleagues in the area.