Five students from Kisumu Girls High school were selected as winners of the Daily Trust’s African of the Year Award which was held in Abuja, Nigeria on January 16. An award they earned with their app, I-Cut, which aims to put a stop to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). They emerged the best of several nominees for the award.
A press statement by Media Trust Limited, Head of Brand marekting, Gift Ilesanmi said that the girls would receive $25,000 prize money. They will also receive a specially-made plaque from the programme which was started by Daily Trust Newspaper in 2008.
Stacy Owino, Purity Achieng’, Ivy Akinyi, Synthia Otieno and Macrine Atieno, all former and current students of Kisumu Girls High School, call themselves “The Restorers”, as their mission is to restore hope to hopeless girls.
The app connects girls at risk of circumcision with rescue centres and also gives legal and medical help to those who have been subjected to FGM. They are set to partner with several NGOs in a hid to fight FGM. “We established the app after realizing that the efforts of activists against FGM were not being complemented. We wanted to offer our help to the targeted girls so that they are helped and not run away their entire lives,” said Atieno.
The girls’ innovation will become a pivotal tool in the war against the vice, which in some communities is viewed as a rite of passage and is still practiced to this day with little regard for the victims’ welfare.