Monday 2 January 2023

Anti-FGM NGOs in Tarime critizised for incompetence

By Staff Writer in Tarime

In the wake of an analysis published by Sauti ya Mara last week, which scrutinized the activities of anti- FGM NGOs in Tarime district, Mara region, various stakeholders have come out to air their views, saying the activists have shown a great deal of weakness in their duties.

In a telephone interview with the newspaper, the stakeholders, some of them involved in the fight against Gender Based Violence, have expressed their doubt on the way donor money is being spent ostensibly on sensitization against FGM in the district.

“There is this NGO, (name withheld) for example, which received hefty funds from international donors in 2015. But its work is not in any way correspond to that money and this has been going on for many years,” stated a leader of the NGO on condition of remaining anonymous.

Many girls have reportedly been subjected to FGM in Tarime district, last month.

“Why has FGM continued unabated in Tarime district this year (2022)?” Asked the human rights activist.

Some of the stakeholders have advised the NGOs to change their techniques used in offering education on the bad consequences of FGM, cautioning that what they have been doing has failed to bear fruit.

“We are surprised that this year (2022), things have been totally different. The NGOs should evaluated their activities and take a different approach,” said the official who is also one of the activists in the anti- FGM crusade.

On the other hand, wananchi have asked the organizations to stop using donor money on education for the leaders and take this fight to those who are the victims.

“These organizations should concentrate on educating the community, instead of using lots of donor funds on education for leaders,” said another NGO leader in Tarime.

Another serious discussion also took place on the social media, where many contributors expressed their misgivings on activities of the anti- FGM NGOs, with some of them saying, what they are doing amounts to human rights abuse.

“These NGOs are just gold diggers, are a nuisance and home wreckers. They are teaching the girls to disobey their parents. They stay with them and when they send them back home, the parents reject their own children.”

“The government should scrutinize this situation where children have become disobedient. The nation’s discipline starts in the family, shaped by parents,” says a contributor in a Whatsapp group.

Another says: “How do you snatch a child from her parents and return her again. It is better to look for the cause of the problem and nip it in the bud, instead of trying to tackle its results which causes disharmony in the family.”

They said the NGO’s weakness is manifested in the continuing FGM ceremonies in areas where they have been implementing their projects to fight the custom.

They claimed that these NGOs have been abducting girls from their families, stayed with them but later dumped them into communities.

Another contributor said “The NGOs should really look for the cause of this problem instead of coming up with their own reasons. There are many anti-FGM NGOs but they have failed to deliver.”

“They should educate the community on the bad consequences of FGM and the good thing about non-FGM practices. They should also look for the causes of the problem, not some funny stories which even a grandmother in the village won’t believe them,” said another.

According to the discussion, it is obvious that taking the girls from their homes and living with them against the will of their parents amounts to human rights abuse.

Sauti ya Mara continues to look for leaders of anti –FGM NGOs for comment, on why this practice continues unabated among the Kurya people in Tarime.

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