On the 28th February, the Zero Tolerance day for Female Genital Mutilation saw people around the world come together to speak out against the harmful practice. The Youth for Change Tanzania team held a peaceful rally with hundreds of young people in Tanzania’s capital, Dar Es Saalam. Hear from these four young Tanzanian’s who are breaking the silence around FGM, and find out why #ZeroTolerance is so important to them.
“I was born in a place where FGM is a very normal thing, I’ve witnessed some friends of mine go through that at a very young age. So working with Youth for Change and coming to this rally has touched my feelings actually. These are the things that I was seeing happening in my community and in my village. I am no longer living there, I’m at university, but I believe that through this rally we can make some change in those communities.”
- Aristarick Joseph
“I am a young girl and today we want to tell the world that practicing FGM isn’t good for the health of a child. We must reach a day when people, and the whole world, must understand that. There are some practices that people are conducting that should end. We are in a world where young children, women and girls, should be free from anything that hinders them to reach their goals.
When you are conducting FGM it leads to excessive bleeding, people lose their lives, have difficulty delivering (giving birth) and other negative stuff. We must end this and give education and awareness to people, for the development of our societies.”
- Jennifer Kayombo, 19
“I’ve known and seen many go through FGM, I used to talk with the community and ask them’ why are they doing this?’ They have no reason other than saying ‘this is our culture, and we have to do our culture’. In some communities, especially the Maasai tribe community, they are strongly bounded to their culture, so that’s why it is difficult for them to do away with FGM.
Today is important to me because it’s the day when we are campaigning about zero tolerance. We are telling the public that we have to carry out education awareness. We have to engage young people to be at the center of this battle against FGM, because the young people of today are the adults of tomorrow. If we engage young people then we will definitely end this battle.”
- Neema Olle Ndemno
“Today is very important to me because we get the chance to meet with our fellow youth and tell them about FGM, and also encourage them to sign our petition. One of our goals today is very important; to meet our fellow youth and government officials, in order to raise awareness.”
- Upendo Abisai