A Women’s festival celebrating community, empowerment, and possibility

All proceeds raised from this event will build rescue centers to empower girls escaping female genital mutilation and early childhood marriage with shelter, education, and alternative rites of passage.

The Issue:

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a deeply rooted tradition, not only in Kenya where we are raising awareness and funds, but also in Somalia, Tanzania, parts of West Africa and Arab States, though this practice happens all over the world including the United States. Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15, and occasionally on adult women. In Africa, more than three million girls have been estimated to be at risk for FGM annually. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGM is concentrated. FGM is considered a necessary part of a girl’s preparation for adulthood and marriage. The intention is that FGM will leave her chaste, clean and without sexual libido. The health risks of FGM include death by infection and blood loss, risk of mortality in childbirth, painful sexual experiences, difficulty with urination, HIV, and menstrual issues among various psychological consequences. In the traditional setting, FGM is done with unsterile knives or razor blades without anesthesia by a laywoman “cutter.” This information was sited from the World Health Organization

Heroes on the ground:

All of our funds support Samburu Girl’s Foundation. The incredible woman leading this organization, Josephine Kulea, is a supreme example of bravery, truth speaking and creative activism. She chooses to challenge harmful practices within her own culture, engage with her community and create alternative rites of passage for young girls to enter into womanhood. Josephine and her team have rescued, kept safe and educated hundreds of girls and with the funds from the Embracing the Feminine Event, they will be able to create safety and nurture leadership for many more. Please join us in support of these women and girls and break the silence!

2015 Project Success:

By fundraising within our community during 2015, we were able to raise $75,000 – enough to construct the first FGM and Early Forced Marriage Center for Samburu Girl’s Foundation in Kenya. This center has space for 80 young girls either running from one of these harmful practices or coming to recover from the effects. Here they are safe while they heal, they are provided with an education, and every effort is made to reintegrate them back into their families and communities. A great deal of education is provided and alternative rites of passage programs are implemented throughout the area. We also provided the beds, mattresses, and cabinets for each girl.

2016 Project Success:

We have now raised another $87,000. The next phase in our partnership with Samburu Girl’s Foundation provided a kitchen and dining hall large enough to accommodate 300 young girls on the run. Construction of the building cost $65,000 • Equipping the kitchen and dining hall with furniture, appliances, and cooking items cost $10,000. • Providing operating support and salaries for one year to both the Rescue Center and the Dining Hall/Kitchen costs $12,000 See more project details here.

Current 2017 Project Details:

This year Embracing the Feminine is funding the creation of counseling programs to rehabilitate girls newly enrolled in the rescue shelter. Once they complete their sessions, these girls move on to an accelerator program which helps prepare them to enter school. Many of the girls have never been to school or were pulled out and have missed a great deal. The counseling sessions will help them heal and process their trauma and then prepare them to enter school. This project covers the counselors salary, a teacher’s salary, school supplies, white board, items for counseling room, and office supplies for one year. The estimate needed for each counselor and teacher pair is $5,000. Once these positions are filled, our surplus funds will go towards a garden to start growing food.  We will use this garden to produce the veggies that the girls eat at the center. Eventually, we will also sell the surplus.

Donate Today! All proceeds raised from this event will build rescue centers to empower girls escaping female genital mutilation and early childhood marriage with shelter, education, and alternative rites of passage.