A school in Kenya is helping to end FGM and protect young girls from child marriage. This cause is a passion for blogger Breegan Jane, who recently met at-risk girls: “some of the bravest I’ve ever encountered.”
Breegan is fundraising to protect, educate, and empower more girls … and you can too! Let’s realize the power of what we can do together.
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We have all heard the adage and Bible admonition: “to whom much is given, much is required.”
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.–Luke 12:48 (NIV)
I was raised by strong parents who ingrained in me those values of having a good work ethic and helping others with the blessings you’ve been given. I’d like to think I have carried those values with me into my adulthood. It was those very beliefs that led me to work with World Vision on something about which I feel incredibly passionate.
I traveled to Africa in March of this year with World Vision to the Kenya Education and Child Protection Project for an experience I will never forget. My family and I have been donating money to this specific cause for several years, and we were granted an opportunity to visit the area to see firsthand the difference it has made.
You might be wondering what the trip and mission were all about in the first place. The heartbreaking details will shock you.
In this area of Kenya, female genital mutilation (FGM) and cutting is a common cultural practice that girls ages 8 to 14 must endure before being married off before they’re 18. Their fathers don’t necessarily see them as valuable, so they don’t consider other options like education for their girls’ lives. Many girls go through this medically unsupervised and unsanctioned procedure without proper tools, anesthesia, or sanitation — ending up with lifelong reproductive issues or worse: losing their lives.
To say I was mortified upon discovering all of this is an understatement. I was desperate to find a solution.
Some girls risk everything to run away from their homes and brave the wilderness for a long trek to shelters known as safe havens. Here, they meet women who guide them into a life of education and opportunity. During my trip to Kenya earlier this year, I got to see in real time what our donations had accomplished. I saw the school commissioned in my name as well as where the girls had previously been living. The difference was staggering!
The financial help from donors had taken the girls from a small room, which functioned as both a classroom with desks and their sleeping quarters, to a full-fledged school with rooms in which to sleep and space to be normal kids.
The joy I saw in the girls’ eyes as they beheld their new home was overwhelming. I was so emotional watching their gratitude, and it only made me want to do more!
World Vision and its Kenya Child Protection Project understand that the key to ending this cruel abuse of power for these girls lies in their access to education. By fundraising for this cause, we not only help a girl escape FGM, but we also give her the gift of schooling and a path to a brighter future: nurses, doctors, teachers — whatever they wish!
I’ve begun a Facebook fundraiser for this cause, and you can too! Whether you make a gift to my fundraiser, or start your own for “World Vision USA” on Facebook (just include “End FGM” in the title), everything we raise together will go toward this project to protect and educate girls in Kenya.
To start a Facebook fundraiser for World Vision:
- Under “Fundraisers,” choose “Raise Money for a Non-Profit Organization.”
- Select “World Vision USA” as your nonprofit.
- Include “End FGM” (for this cause, or you can include “Water” or “Refugees” to help these other two causes) in your fundraiser title.
- Share with your friends and family!
Check out World Vision’s video about fundraising on Facebook*, and join me in this cause!
These young girls are some of the bravest I’ve ever encountered. They are trailblazers, changing not only their own lives but the world around them. Empowering girls leads to empowered women who enhance the world in which we all live.
I sincerely hope you’ll join me in this fight to end FGM and move one huge step further toward leveling the playing field for women — not only in our immediate lives and geographical areas, but in the lives of these precious, brave, and determined young people who refuse to let tradition stand in the way of advancement.
Breegan Jane is an interior designer, entrepreneur, mommy blogger, and lifestyle expert in Los Angeles. She blogs at BreeganJane.com. Read more about her Kenya trip here.
Read more from the World Vision blog.
*Facebook charges zero fees for donations made to non-profits through their fundraising platform. Learn more.