Uncut girls groups and community conversations

Together against female genital mutilation

We are proud to be able to work with KMG, Kem­bat­ta Women Stan­ding Tog­e­ther, such a pro­fes­sio­nal part­ner in Ethio­pia. KMG was deve­lo­ped by human rights acti­vist and micro­bio­lo­gist Dr. Boga­letch Geb­re foun­ded and works pri­ma­ri­ly against fema­le geni­tal muti­la­ti­on, domestic vio­lence and child mar­ria­ge. Geni­tal­ly muti­la­ted even at the age of 12, Dr. Give birth to the so-cal­led “Uncut girls groups”, which have led to the fact that fema­le geni­tal muti­la­ti­on and HIV infec­tions have decre­a­sed by 97% wit­hin 10 years of the organization’s effec­ti­ve­ness, espe­cial­ly in rural regi­ons.

In the eight years of our coö­pe­ra­ti­on, a total of 64 cer­ti­fied Rain Workers were trai­ned on a bud­get basis by Akti­on Regen in the Kem­bat­ta regi­on in sou­thern Ethio­pia. The­se peop­le, local­ly refer­red to as com­mu­ni­ty workers, work with gre­at com­mit­ment in three wore­das (districts) of the Kem­bat­ta regi­on. They are inte­gra­ted into the exis­ting infra­st­ruc­tu­re of our part­ner orga­niz­a­ti­on KMG and also rely on exis­ting local groups, various women’s initia­ti­ves, anti-HIV/AIDS groups, schools and reli­gious insti­tu­ti­ons. Regu­lar com­mu­ni­ty mee­tings, but abo­ve all home visits to fami­lies, help to redu­ce the fear of dealing with fami­ly plan­ning.

The goal of the cur­rent pro­ject is to reach and edu­ca­te 45,000 peop­le with know­ledge of sexu­al and repro­duc­ti­ve health and various methods of fami­ly plan­ning in one year. This crea­tes a secu­re live­li­hood for women and girls, impro­ves their health and pro­mo­tes their equa­li­ty. The urgen­cy of edu­ca­ti­on and awa­reness work can be seen in the demo­gra­phy of Ethio­pia: 41% of the popu­la­ti­on is under 15 years of age and is of repro­duc­ti­ve age. KMG’s Rain Workers reach around 180 peop­le per mon­th.

Geni­tal Muti­la­ti­on has drop­ped for 97% in Kem­bat­ta!

In 2013, Boga­letch Geb­re (shown in the first pic­tu­re on the right with a hat) recei­ved, among many other awards, the Bru­no Krei­sky Pri­ze for ser­vices to human rights. Unfor­tu­n­at­ley she has pas­sed away in sum­mer 2019.

Ethio­pia con­sists of around 550 regio­nal­ly admi­nis­te­red districts, so-cal­led wore­das, which con­sist of several neigh­bor­hood asso­cia­ti­ons, the so-cal­led Kebe­les. The Kem­bat­ta regi­on, with the capi­tal Dura­me, con­sists of eight wore­das. Com­mu­ni­ty workers are alrea­dy acti­ve in three wore­das (Kedi­da gemi­la, Dam­boya, Kach­ab­i­ra) in the new pro­ject from Akti­on Regen tog­e­ther with KMG, two new wore­das (Hade­ro Tun­to zur­ya, Tem­ba­ro) are to be added and are super­vi­sed by 16 com­mu­ni­ty workers.

Know­ledge of fami­ly plan­ning methods is not very widespread among young girls and women in Ethio­pia. Alt­hough the government recom­mends the use of modern con­tracep­ti­ve methods, cul­tu­ral and tra­di­tio­nal con­dem­na­ti­ons often pre­vent the majo­ri­ty of the popu­la­ti­on from opting for fami­ly plan­ning. At this point Akti­on Regen starts with the mot­to Edu­ca­ti­on-Moti­va­ti­on-Inno­va­ti­on. Sin­ce Rain Workers work inde­pendent­ly in their districts, they are role models who are par­ti­cu­lar­ly sen­si­ti­ve to the con­cerns of young girls and women, who are often affec­ted by vio­lent tra­di­tio­nal prac­ti­ces due to their social posi­ti­on.

It is chal­len­ging to reach the many dif­fe­rent eth­nic groups with know­ledge, becau­se cul­tu­ral taboos, such as naming the repro­duc­ti­ve organs or spea­king open­ly about sexua­li­ty, block off for the time being.

Akti­on Regen abolis­hes taboos and pre­ju­di­ces with its edu­ca­tio­nal aids, role plays and reflec­tion exer­ci­ses. The coö­pe­ra­ti­on with the sta­te health advi­sors of Wore­da Health Offices and the Women and Child­ren Affairs Offices, which take part in the com­mu­ni­ty con­ver­sa­ti­ons, is bea­ring fruit.

It is clear that more bud­get is nee­ded, becau­se the high demand exceeds the capa­ci­ty of the cur­rent Rain Workers!

&#x
Birth rate
4,5 child­ren per woman
&#x
Mater­nal mor­ta­li­ty:
2,8%
&#x
Women who are geni­tal­ly muti­la­ted:
74%
&#x
Infant
mor­ta­li­ty:
5,85% (0,4% in Öster­reich)
&#x
Illi­ter­acy rate:
Men 49,7% Women 64,9%
&#x
HIV/AIDS rate in adults:
1,1%
Akti­on Regen chan­ges people´s mind and beha­viour about repro­duc­ti­ve health and fami­ly plan­ning