In 2010, when SAFE Maa began their FGM abandonment programme, 100% of girls in the Loita Hills were being cut as part of their graduation into womanhood. This involved the removal of the clitoris, the labia minora and the partial or total removal of the labia majora (Type 2 circumcision). The team have made considerable progress, over 30% of girls are now undergoing the Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP), which involves no cut. SAFE Maa believe in the next few years, Loita will be declared an FGM/C free zone. When this is done, girls and women for generations to come will be protected against the violence of FGM/C.
On Stage: The FGM/C abandonment performance consists of two groups of singers, one representing the traditionalists who are in favour of preserving FGM/C and the other are progressives who want to abandon it. The two groups sing to each other, relaying their arguments, and one by one, the traditionalists begin to join the side of the progressives. At the end, the remaining traditionalists agree to at least discuss the issue.
SAFE Moran: The Morans (warriors) have added their voice to the campaign against FGM/C. The Moran’s are the protectors of the culture, they are also a group who are approaching marriage age; their agreement to marry uncut girls and actively advocate for FGM/C abandonment is incredibly powerful.
Off Stage: Focusing on all levels of Maasai society, the team carry out workshops, school clubs, youth forums, and one on one interventions that allow for deeper conversations about all aspects of FGM/C. Workshop participants are separated according to gender and age set, allowing them to be open and honest. SAFE Maa outreach officers also work with individual families who have daughters approaching the cutting age. They are on hand to provide advice, supporting the girl and her parents to opt for the ARP over circumcision.