Kindergarten and school against female genital mutilation
For years now, AIM has been campaigning against female circumcision, a traditional ritual that may be eliminated through better educational opportunities as well as strengthening of young women’s rights. Nonetheless, many mothers still have their daughters circumcised in order to marry them off. Uncircumcised women are considered impure, and are oftentimes ostracized by the community. As Sierra Leone is one of the ten poorest countries in the world, marriage is often necessary to ensure the survival of the entire family. However, it must also be stressed that the cultural context of female circumcision is more complex than we can imagine. Western society easily condemns the ritual, without any background knowledge on its social implications. Circumcision also means inclusion into society, and it is the basic requirement for girls to be recognized as women. This may be incomprehensible to many Europeans. Effectively, PfefferminzGreen asks for a value-free opinion of this ritual. Women like Rugiatu Turay, director of the NGO AIM, who best know their own culture, should be supported, as they know exactly which steps may lead to a different awareness towards female circumcision within the community.
Rugiatu has made a project proposal to PfefferminzGreen, in which she explains the contents and objectives of a kindergarten, primary and secondary school. This school should not only convey the girls their own rights, but also give them the opportunity to determine their future. Access to education can give girls in Sierra Leone the chance to fight female circumcision. The curriculum includes topics such as human rights, family planning, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, etc. As boys and girls jointly form the next generation, it should not be an all-girls school. Together they can learn and briskly exchange information on these highly important topics, in order to build a better future, in which the outdated and unnecessary ritual of female circumcision may be abolished.
The residents of the village coordinated the construction of the school from the start, especially admirable being the collaboration between the young and old. Children gathered sticks for the scaffolding, young men dug up a 14m deep well within 5 weeks, older men mixed cement, and the women acquired the required water. Only local trades were commissioned, which in turn involved even more villagers in the project.
Because the implementation proceeded so smoothly, the construction of a kindergarten was additionally tackled, the first of his kind in the region of Port Loko. A giant leap, considering that almost half the population of Sierra Leone is under 15 years old. We are also pleased about the job opportunities created through this facility.
Amazonian Bilingual Primary and Secondary School in Rolal:
150 children and young adults will attend school starting next semester. The current Ebola outbreak has moved the opening date from the 2nd of September to a new, hitherto undetermined date.
Amazonian Bilingual Kindergarten in Rolal:
200 toddlers are being cared for since March 2015. The building has enough space to do justice to early childhood development; bedrooms and play areas, as well as eating facilities, where lunch is served.