Blog

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Why we at ActionAid Kenya are launching a campaign to end FGM

Makena Mwobobia – Head of Programmes, ActionAid Kenya

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is ruthless. It has no health benefits for girls and women. The procedure can cause severe bleeding and lasting health problems. When you look at the faces of young innocent girls who are helpless and are afraid of undergoing the cut, you feel very sad and angered.

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From this week, stark images of girls in Kenya will be cutting into adverts and video screens across the country. The images are part of a campaign we're launching with ActionAid Kenya to highlight how some girls' lives are being brutally cut short by FGM - whether through the immediate risks or the longer term impact.

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"Hi, have you got two minutes to talk about periods?" Not the easiest of questions to ask complete strangers, but this is what team ActionAid were doing at Latitude Festival last week. Whether you were there or not, if you care about breaking period taboos we thought you'd enjoy these photo highlights.

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"I love writing messages to my sponsor."

Michelle Hancock – Sponsorship Communications Officer

When you sponsor a child with ActionAid, you'll get two handwritten messages from them every year. Our staff collect these messages regularly from the children in their communities.​

We make every message collection a special event for the children, and the whole community gets involved. For many children, it's the only opportunity they get to draw, paint, play and be creative.

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Yes, it's the time of the month to talk about periods again. I always get super excited about festivals – the music, the dancing, the food... but this week I’m even more excited than usual, because not only am I going to Latitude - one of the UK's best music and culture festivals - but I'm going there with the ActionAid team to do something pretty out there - bust period taboos!

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Equality. Solidarity. Tolerance. I think that most of us, if asked, would say that we want to live in a society characterised by these values. But these words only become values if we’re prepared to live them, promote them and defend them, especially at times like these.