I think we tend to throw around the phrase “life-changing” too frivolously these days. A decadent meal at brunch is “life changing.” An amazing concert is “life changing.” Even an exhilarating roller-coaster ride seems to warrant the description of “life-changing.” These things are often rousing, even impactful. But life changing may be a bit of a stretch.
Last March I had the opportunity to experience something that was not only life changing for me but for so many other young lives. I visited the great continent of Africa with World Vision. I had to witness with my own lives the progress being made in Kenya to eradicate FGM or female genital mutilation.
Zero Tolerance For FGM
On today, the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, I want to remind you of how important it is to give back to those who need it the most. Young women ages 8 to 14 in this region must often endure FGM before being married off at their young ages. It is a heinous cultural practice that oftentimes results in girls contracting infections and diseases. It is not uncommon for many girls to even die because of it.
A desperate few fearfully undertake a long trek in the bush to escape what surely awaits them if they remain at home. They run away to find shelters known as “safe havens.” Once there, they are taken in by women who work tirelessly to help the girls adjust and thrive in a world full of opportunity by way of acquiring education. For the first time, the possibility of becoming nurses or doctors, or anything other than simply a man’s wife, becomes very real. That’s what “life-changing” truly is.
Upon my return to the States, a number of emotions filled me from within. Seeing the hard work of so many providing new freedoms and futures for these precious young women. I felt an overwhelming desire to do more. It simply didn’t seem good enough to help one, two, even five groups of women escape FGM. In my mind and heart, we needed to eradicate FGM for good!
What YOU Can Do
You may be among the many reading this thinking FGM is too big of an issue. It’s possible you think making a significant impact is almost impossible. That isn’t true. My family has been donating a percentage of our incomes to this cause year after year. Those donations built a home for girls fleeing FGM.
For the price of what you may spend in a weekend, you can sponsor a girl for an entire year. You can give her the chance to change her world and future. By donating to this cause, you are not only helping the plight of eradicating FGM; you are giving these young girls a future that surpasses the one they’ve only dreamed about.
Today, on International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, I sincerely hope you’ll join me in the fight to help these women, to empower them to be leaders in their own communities, and to eradicate FGM once and for all. For even more information, click here. To make a donation, click here.