Lucy Purdy in Positive News:
Nobody wants to feel helpless or desperate. The days of charities showing people as one-dimensional victims are – hopefully – numbered. Theo Sowa, chief executive of the African Women’s Development Fund, has said: “When people portray us as victims, they don’t want to ask about solutions. Because people don’t ask victims for solutions.”
These Kenyan girls and women have been asked. They are among the people who work with health development charity Amref Health Africa to try to make pregnancy safer and improve women’s access to reproductive health services.
One of the portraits is of 13-year-old Lilian, who bravely avoided female genital mutilation (FGM) by going to school where she knew she would be safe. Now, instead of simply getting married, which happens to so many girls after FGM, she dreams of being a pilot.
In the same region – Loitoktok, where there is a large Maasai community – Amref is helping local women develop alternative rites of passage ceremonies: rituals that maintain tradition without hurting girls.