Guest Post by Christy Bowersox
In the fall of 2019 Africa captured my heart. My Dad and I were fortunate enough to travel to Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, a trip we had been dreaming of for more than a decade. Though the main focus of our trip was experiencing the wildlife, it was the people we encountered that left a lasting impression.
I had always been fascinated by the Maasai tribe though, admittedly, my knowledge was mostly limited to television portrayals of the brave warriors. While we were in Tanzania one of our guides took us to the village where he had grown up. I was unprepared for the reality. I had only seen the beautiful parts of the culture, but what we found that day were the seven wives of a man who spent his days drinking while his wives and children were starving. The wife we spent time with was cooking for her family and the pot had about a cup of rice to feed seven children and herself for the day. She shared with us, through two translators, that her 14-year-old daughter was about to be married. I asked our guide if they still practiced FGM and he confirmed that they did ,even though it had been outlawed. I later learned that because FGM had been made illegal it was now being practiced on much younger girls to avoid detection.
As the mother of two girls this was too much for me to comprehend. My youngest was also 14 at the time and I couldn’t imagine her being mutilated and married off to a much older man. It broke my heart. I knew then that I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what. I educated myself on the Maasai culture and FGM practices in Africa.
I found MGRC while searching the internet for a Christian organization that was ministering to Maasai girls. I was concerned about FGM and the vulnerability of young girls in the Maasai culture. The more I learn about this organization, the more impressed I am. I think what they have accomplished in such a short amount of time is incredible. The plans for the ecoFarm make me so excited and hopeful for the futures of many more girls. I hope to take my daughters to volunteer someday.