I can’t quite remember where I first read about female genital mutilation/cutting,( FGM/C) otherwise known as female circumcision, but the whole horror of it touched me and stayed with me. I had to find out more. Time passed and nothing more had reached the surface for me. Looking back, I found the other day some personal writing I had made in 2005. A time of great divide, challenges and difficulties for the family. We were emerging from this phase of our lives. I had written, almost in prayer form, that all David and I wanted to do was to serve. This is the extract from my notes:
” Finally, it is my hope for the future that David and I, with our beautiful daughter, will go on together to find happiness, contentment, and fulfillment in what ever we do. There is a genuine need to serve, to do something and I/we are waiting to know what it is?”
In 2010, the waiting was over and the answer was given. We had already discovered Tareto Maa the previous year but contact had been scarce, due to internet connections and language barriers. Many of our friends will already know this story. I won’t repeat it here. But the impact of an e-mail, with photos of girls living within a grass-roots project setting caught our imagination, excitement, admiration and an urgent need to say, “yes, here it is in the flesh. This is the work we are meant to do”.
Now, in 2011, and a lot of water under the bridge, as us English would say, here I am again writing on behalf of our girls in Kenya for the Global Giving Challenge. I say our girls, not because we feel we own them, or for them to feel they owe us anything. We say “our girls” because they have become our responsibility and we take their welfare seriously. Along, with many others and you can read all about the project, they have been plucked from the horrendous consequences of FGM/C and given an alternative future. One based on an education, of being looked after, of being in a community of safety, shelter and what we now need, security for the longer-term.
That is why we are part of the Global Giving challenge. You can read about what this is all about with the link below. How it will help us, not only with donations, but by being on a wider world-wide platform. This gives us the publicity we need. Take a look at the groups linked on the webpage. The Kiva group with over 700 members. This has been the work of Davids’ to spread the message of what we are trying to do. The link with betterplace has been vital- coordinated and managed by Armin Erkins, the European hub of activity. Without him, none of this would have been possible. BUT, we acknowledge most of all, Gladys Kiranto- our founder and leader. It is through her vision and efforts that Tareto maa was born and the success of this whole project, transpired by her and her people. The project team who work 24hrs a day on the ground. Read about our refuge, the school building and the work so far.
I personally am so proud to realise a dream of helping these girls in this situation. This is my life blood and my passion. It is others too. Please help us and take a look at the webpage given below and give anything that you can as we approach Christmas. A traditional time of giving and sparing a thought for a charity you might wish to contribute to.
On behalf of myself, and the whole Tareto Maa team, we say a very big thank you. And the girls say the biggest thank you of all.
You are giving them a life!
See us here: http://goto.gg/9169 The Global Giving Challenge. It has begun today. And a great day to start. On our daughter’s birthday.