Making the cut – the painful rite of passage to womanhood

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Satta’s story

One of the areas we have had to delve into at Freedom Tree is the very sensitive cultural issue of FGM.  I remember the first time we addressed it in a village, you could have cut the air with a knife.   But we persevered and today we have seen many communities  discontinue this very harmful practice. I am even more  humbled when I meet women who  championed the practice in the past but now support the fight against it.  For them it’s not an easy decision, as retiring their knives also means  a significant loss of income and livelihood. Satta was such a woman. 

 Madam Satta Kai  used to be a ‘Sowei’, a woman who did the cutting on girls for many many years.  Its a profession that has held prestige in Sierra Leone for generations.   Not long ago she put down her knife for good, as a result of interactions with one of Freedom Tree’s staff members and with it gave up her main source of income.

Today Satta is an advocate for Freedom Tree and the rights of girls.  She advocates alongside Freedom Tree in preventing FGM.  Satta wanted us to share her story with you in an effort to raise awareness about this issue.  She wants you to tell you that change is possible.  To me Satta is a hero, and her story continues to inspire me.  

Satta’s story is made possible because of you and your continual support of Freedom Tree.  Thank you!

 

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