Everyday. Everyday the Nosim Maasai Mission is saving the lives of young Maasai girls. The Maasai tribe participates in ceremonial female genital mutilation. These ceremonies can lead to a young girl bleeding to death, being exposed to HIV/AIDS, tetanus and so much more. If the ceremony is successful, then that girl is forced into early marriage to a man, usually in his sixties with many older wives. She then becomes indentured to her husband and his wives, caring for the many children and livestock. The Nosim Maasai Mission rescues these young girls, protects them from harm and enters them into school. With an education these girls, who could have had a life of slavery, are given the opportunity to live their dreams. The Nosim Maasai Mission currently has three girls who were previously rescued that are in danger of being returned to their homes. There, they will undoubtedly be circumcised and forced into marriage. Help save the life of one of these girls today by giving to the Nosim Maasai Mission.
Read more about Maasai’s ceremonies below:
In the Maasai culture a boy only become a man once he has been circumcised, and a young girl many only get married once she has been circumcised. Many Maasai families cannot afford to give their children formal school, so to protect their daughters from lives of poverty they choose to marry them off at a young age. Because Maasai girls are traditionally considered children until they are circumcised, it is seen imperative for a Maasai girl to undergo the circumcision rite before she is married. This strongly ingrained cultural belief propels families to go to great lengths to complete the circumcision.
The type of circumcision that the Maasai perform is called a clitoridectomy, in which the entire clitoris or part of the clitoris, and at times the adjacent labia is removed. The primary reason female circumcision is practiced among the Maasai is that it is considered a rite of passage. Circumcision is a cultural practice in the Maasai community, not a religious practice, it elevates a girl from childhood to the status of adulthood, and is necessary for a girl to be considered a complete woman. Another important belief among the Maasai is that the rite has an ability to reduce the woman’s desire for sex, making her less likely to engage in pre-marital sex or adultery.
To prepare for the ceremony the girls are washed by the elder woman relations, they are then taken to their mother’s house where they will be circumcised by a female Witch doctor (Engakitoy). During the circumcision the senior warrior (Moran) will appoint two warriors who will watch the girl being circumcised, the other warriors dance behind the two warriors watching. Once she has been circumcised the two warriors will enter the house and hand the girl their spears, handing the girls their spears is a sign that all is over and she must now get up. The two warriors then leave the house and join the dancing warriors outside where they continue dancing. The girl then comes out with the two spears and hands them back to the warriors, she then returns to the house to rest but the celebration continues all night. Excessive bleeding can occur during the practice and can lead to death. Today, because the procedure often has to take place in hiding, female circumcision is mostly performed using shared and unsterilized objects, which can lead to HIV/AIDS and tetanus and damaged organs including the vaginal walls. Inflammation of the cells around the circumcision area also occurs shortly after the operation. The long term effects of FGM (female genital mutilation) include infections of the reproductive parts, pain during sexual intercourse, and difficulties in childbirth. The girl must wear black during the recovery period, during this time they are called (Askolio). Once they are fully recovered they can get married.