Image of a Kenyan girl smiling. Mekuno Project welcoming guests to website

Together, we can end female genital mutilation and child marriage in Kenya.

We know because we've done it.

 
Turquoise background

Roughly 

1 in 5

girls in Kenya undergo either female genital mutilation (FGM) or child marriage.

However, as many as

9 in 10

girls in some ethnic groups  in Kenya are victims of these practices (UNICEF).

In the areas where we work, FGM is seen as a prerequisite for marriage, with girls undergoing the practice between the ages of                              .

9 to 12

But by addressing the root causes of these harmful practices: 

Extreme Poverty

Lack of 

Education

Cultural Norms

How do we know? We’ve already done it.

We have the power to eliminate FGM and child marriage in

Who We Are

Mekuno Project is a coalition and fund dedicated to eliminating the root causes of FGM and child marriage in Kenya and creating the conditions for girls to flourish in futures they design.

A young Kenyan girl in her green school uniform smiling widely

What We Tackle

A young Kenyan girl looks over her shoulder, her eyes full of maturity beyond her years.

Female genital mutilation and child marriage are internationally recognized forms of gender-based violence. FGM and child marriage have life-long impacts on girls, their families and their communities. This limits their access to educational and economic opportunities, and are more likely to experience severe health issues, especially when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth.

Why It Happens

A circumciser holds the tools of her trade in her hands

These harmful traditional practices continue due to a combination of factors including extreme poverty, cultural norms, and lack of education. Often, girls are married early in order to obtain a bride price for their families to alleviate extreme poverty. Girls who undergo FGM can fetch a higher bride price, or at times won’t be eligible to marry at all without undergoing the practice due to a combination of social and cultural factors.

One of the main causes of FGM: Extreme Poverty. A grandmother sits with her granddaughter
One of the causes of FGM: Cultural Norms. A woman stares out at the camera dressed in traditional clothing, a slight smile on her face
One of the main causes of FGM: Lack of education. Kenyan school girls in pink and blue uniforms stand smiling with their arms crossed in front of a chalkboard.

How We Do It

A Kenyan woman reading a book

By adopting a holistic approach, FGM and child marriage can be eliminated. Through quality education, child protection and voice, community transformation, and economic empowerment, we can address the root causes of FGM and child marriage.

Quality Education
Child Protection & Voice
Community Transformation
Economic Empowerment

Who We Work With

A Kenyan woman smiles, wearing traditional jewelry.

We achieve this change by working with an ecosystem of stakeholders: girls and boys, families and households, communities and government.

Our Impact

A Kenyan girl carrying school books

We can end these harmful practices by 2030. We can do it if we all work together to eliminate the root causes of FGM and child marriage, working with all stakeholders in a community to succeed. In fact, this approach has already been proven successful, with communities going from 95% prevalence of FGM to less than 10% in less than 20 years.

In Cheperaria, West Pokot, the rate of FGM was 95% in 1999.
By 2020, the rate was below 10%.