Corporates Kenya

Tale of an FGM Survivor

My name is Amina Omar. I come from Tana River County. I’m a FGM survivor, and I have founded an organization called Later Dreams, Kenya. It’s an organization that deals with women and youth empowerment, advocacy on FGM, issues of agriculture and climate change, and also programs on education. My inspiration is seeing a smile on every girl that has either gone through FGM or that is almost being subjected to FGM. The hashtag is usinitoe utamu. What does that mean, Amina? Usinitoe tamu is like you don’t take away my pleasure. The challenges we experience, Better Dreams, Kenya, it’s a CBO, it’s a community-based organization. I founded it not long ago, so the visibility is still lacking. But as Better Dreams Kenya, we have challenges of getting resources resources or getting funded from these organizations. I think it’s also a challenge that most of grassroots organizations face because donors don’t entrust us with money, and we are the ones who actually make changes in the community. We are the ones who wake up in the morning and go rescue that girl. We also lack capacity development as an organization. I think one of the aspects that donors need to I look into is also to develop the capacity of local or grassroots organizations so that we can do better at our jobs, so that we can be accountable, so that we can do the most transparent job out there for you to entrust us with your money.
I think my expectation was met from this workshop. I expected when I come here that I will let go of all my bagages, all my trauma, all my past. And that is exactly what we did during the workshop. The facilitators were really patient with us. They’ve taken us through the journey of healing. We started healing. As a young girl, I was subjected to FGM. I was period-shamed when I was in primary school, and I was also bullied by actually other girls, the girls I trusted as friends. So being able to open that wound and express it in front of other survivors, I think it’s a journey. It’s a healing journey that I’ve started. And I think I’m going to go with it because as a survivor, I have to, first of all, take care of myself for me to be able to take care of the young girls out there. So I’m really grateful for this opportunity. I don’t think I will ever, ever be grateful for the opportunity that we were giving us as survivors.”

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