It is worth inspiring that 5 Kenyan school girls, aged 15–17, will be flying to California to the Google Headquarters on August 6 after developing an app, I-cut, with the intention to put an end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). These 5 girls are the only Africans nominated to participate in the international Technovation competition of this year, where they will develop mobile apps in order to end difficulties in their communities.
One of the teenagers, Stacy Owino, said, “FGM is a big concern distressing girls across the world and it is an issue that we desire to resolve. This entire experience will transform our lives. Whether we lose or we win, our perception of the world and the potentials it has will transform for the better.” These girls belong to the western city of Kenya, Kisumu; and have aptly named themselves as the “Restorers.” The name referring their intention to “reinstate faith to disheartened girls,” as told by another teenager in the team, Synthia Otieno.
Around 1 in 4 Kenyan girls and women have suffered from FGM. It implicates the total or partial exclusion of the external genitalia, despite the fact that it is unlawful in the East African country. Even though the Luo community of girls does not exercise FGM, but do have friends who have gone through that process. Telling about a classmate who suffered from FGM, Purity Achieng said, “We were very good friends but she never returned to school after she was cut. She was amongst the cleverest girls I knew.”
With I-cut, girls at the risk of FMG are connected to the rescue centers and also lawful and medical assistance is given to those who have been cut. It is a simple interface having 5 buttons, namely, rescue, help, information on FGM, report, feedback, and donate, providing the users with diverse services.
Kenya is amongst the most technologically advanced countries that is recognized for its groundbreaking mobile money transfer apps in Africa. Technovation, which is supported by Verizon, Google, and the United Nations, intends to impart girls with the abilities they require to become tech leaders and entrepreneurs.
We wish all the best to these girls and appreciate them for their good work.