The Maasai community, found in the southern region of Kenya and North Tanzania has maintained its traditions and cultural practices even in the phase of modernization and formal education.
However, some of the practices are a disadvantage to the community in terms of development. For example, every girl in the community must go through genital mutilation before being considered a grown up woman who can be a mother. To the community members who are not learned, this is a good rite of passage for every girl in society.
The actual procedure performed on the girls, (female genital mutilation (FGM)) which is referred to as clitoridectomy, involves the removal of the clitoris, and in some cases the adjacent labia. Studies show that FGM has a number of negative health effects on ladies. One example is loss of too much blood during the procedure which can lead to death since it is not done professionally. The ones performing the act use the same sharp objects without proper sterilization and this can lead to different types of undesired diseases. Among the long-term effects of FGM are chronic infections of the urinary tract and reproductive system, and difficulties in childbirth.
For this reason, the Light of Life Organization is working with well-wishers and donors to offer access to quality formal education for young adolescent girls in the Maasai community.
The sponsorship program has seen several girls finish their primary secondary education and are now at various colleges and universities. More girls are coming on board each year depending on the available sponsors and funds with the number now rising close to 100 girls.