CASE STUDY: Catherine Mokami Marwa
As a form three student at Wangirabose Secondary School in Ntimaru, Kuria East sub-county, the story of Catherine Mokami Marwa is an indicator of what girls go through to fight against Female Genital Mutilation in the area.
Female circumcision is an easy way for parents to easily get wealth and Mokami is a victim of what girls in Kuria community have to endure in saying no to FGM.
Mokami says her problems started way back in class six when she developed an eye infection and was taken in by her in-law in Nairobi.
“Life became unbearable when a landlord threw us out of the house for lack of rent which saw me live temporarily with a neighbor before returning home,” she narrates.
She came home during circumcision time and her parents insisted she undergo the cut which she refused and went to report to the matter to the area chief.
“I told them I wanted to continue with my education and the area chief supported me and warned them.   This angered them and they started mistreating me,” she says.
She had to defer her studies for a year as her parents refused to enroll her in school which she ultimately joined in 2011.
She has been experiencing severe back ache pains after her mother attacked her once when she tried to use a family soap to wash her school uniforms.
“I chose to stand by my principal to continue with education and refuse any attempt to get married which has angered my parents,” she says.
Her most difficult moment is when her parents resorted to have their brother rape them after they saw no marriage in sight for uncircumcised girls.
“Ultimately my sister who also refused to undergo the cut got pregnant and married off in Tanzania where she stayed for only a month before being divorced,” she says.
Attempts to raise concern with the parents of their brother’s incest moves have been met by negative remarks that nobody will marry them anyway.
Her lowest point is when her parents tied her up and burnt her with coal when she tried sell firewood to finance her studies.
“They tied me up just when I was about to get a buyer and poured hot charcoal embers in my thighs after I refused to undergo the cut,” she says.
The local chief heard of the problem on May 05, 2014 where she helped her fill a P3 form even though her parents are yet to be arrested.
“I have been forced to stay in school with my colleagues in form four as my parents have threaten to attack anybody who will house me,” she says.
Through Micontrap-Kenya Mokami has been aided in her education after her parents refused to pay school fees for uncircumcised girl