Msichana Empowerment Kuria is a grassroots based organization founded in 2013 and registered in 2015 as a community based organization. Their core purpose is to eradicate female genital cutting through the promotion of positive community-wide behaviour change. The group acknowledges female genital cutting (FGC) as the greatest form of violence against women and girls and exposes the myths and misconceptions surrounding the practice in the Kuria tradition. They concentrate on universal human rights education and advocate for gender equity through socio-economic empowerment of disadvantaged women and girls. “It is our strong conviction that women and girls, regardless of their background or age, should be allowed to live free from any form of violence and make informed choices concerning their lives,” they say.
The group carries out various activities within their community to work toward ending FGC. They have established the first youth community centre and library of its kind within a 50km radius. “We recognize the rampant illiteracy levels within our community and the negative consequences this has on the continuation of cultural practices, namely FGC. However, we see the power of an educated, literate, and concerned youth to end FGC,” they say. Their youth community centre and library provides an after school program to address the educational, social, and development challenges and potential gaps of nearly 500 children and adolescents (9-15 years) every week. This initiative, in its second year, has witnessed improved school performance and an increase in school attendance and retention among its participants.