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Fifteen year-old Ejegayehu Abayneh is a facilitator of the girls’ club in her school and a model student in the fight against HTPs. She is living with her grandma who has always been telling her that she should be circumcised. But she has also heard about the suffering that her mother went through when she gave birth to her due to the scars created by the FGM. “I was therefore telling them that I wouldn’t undergo circumcision for that reason,” Ejegayehu says.
The awareness she got due to her participation in programme strengthened her resolve.   

The programme contributed to empowerment of most vulnerable girls and women and the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage.  The JP implemented strategic activities on school level interventions to empower girls; and community mobilization and awareness creation on harmful practices and sexual and reproductive health.

When the season came for her circumcision Ejegayehu went with her sister to the clinic in town where they were supposed to be circumcised. They were the first to arrive at the clinic. Eventually a long queue was formed where around 15 more girls came for circumcision.

When the health professional admitted Ejegayehu and her sister she started challenging him. “I said to him how he could use his profession to inflict harm on girls like us. I told him it was up to him to rather give awareness to us on the harms of circumcision,” she recalls. “I told him boldly that if he touches me and my sister as well as the other girls in the clinic queuing up to get circumcised he was going to spend the rest of his life in jail,” Ejegayehu adds. The health professional subsequently dismissed her and the other girls and locked the clinic.

“I always share my experience with students to inform about the harms of FGM. I have also managed to convince my grandma on the harms of FGM and she has apologized to me.”