You are here

Tigist Alemayehu, 16-, is a 7th grade student at the Fullasa Catholic Primary School in Yibra town in Sothern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region. She was planning to bet cut during her summer school break to ward off any ridicule from peers for being uncircumcised. “I talked to my friends, and we agreed to visit the traditional circumciser who lives in a neighboring kebele near our town.” They promised each other to keep this as a secret for fear of legal actions by the authorities in light of the fact that FGM has been criminalized.

 It was right about this time that Tigist got orientation on the complications of FGM and other harmful practices in her school as part of the Joint Programme on Abandonment of FGM.

“I changed my decision right away and started sharing information on the complications of FGM and child marriage to my classmates and other students in my school during the flag raising ceremony,” Tigist says.

“I also reached out to over 90 choir members in my Church telling them about my decision not to be cut,” she remarks adding that they laughed at her. “I didn’t lose hope and I continued to inform them about the life-threatening complications of FGM.”

Tigist took time to share the message to female students during free periods. Her perseverance eventually resulted in 15 girls in her school and the Church choir deciding not to get cut. “This inspired me to continue my effort to save my friends,” she remarks. Tigist was recently trained as a peer group discussion facilitator in her school which strengthened her capacity as an anti-FGM champion.  

“I will continue to exert my efforts until all girls in my school are safe from FGM. I am also going to make sure that my little sisters are saved from FGM by educating my parents,” Tigist says confidently.   

Tigist wants to study medicine to contribute to the improvement of the health and wellbeing of women and children.