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Sunday, 07 January 2018
Published in PROMOTION
Written by

Working in the children’s rights week, the Pícaros School’s team thought: “what better way to teach our little kids about the children’s rights than to show them the reality of other children anywhere in the world? Why our little children were not going to contribute in the sense that we are all equal? At that time we came up with the idea of collaborate with Afrikable through our school.

Cuento 'UN GRAN CAMBIO'To show our little ones the world’s reality, we began with a project presentation video where they could watch the world’s children. We keep going with a storyteller about Maka’s story through “A BIG CHANGE” story tale.

Been so excited with Maka’s story ! Three, two, one …. Let us get the ball rolling! Shoes out, socks out and to paint their foots to create elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers … they were excited with Africa so we made a wall with everyone helps.

Afrikable Pícaros School Mural

But still we could do more things that Maka taught us, so we decided to create necklaces as the Massai’s women do it, full with litlle balls and a lot of colours! Ahh, I forgot, and we made them in the floor, as we know that they do it.

Afrikable Pícaros School Collares Massai

Afrikable Pícaros School Collares Massai 1

And finally, we will tell you that we also learned a little Swahili, now every morning the children enter the school saying JAMBO and they smile and dance when it sounds the song “Jambo Bwana”.

Afrikable Pícaros School Jambo Bwana

This is just the beginning, we will colaborate with Afrikable during all the scholar course, because we believe that...

EVERYTHING THAT YOU GIVE TO THE CHILDREN, THE CHILDREN WILL GIVE IT TO THE SOCIETY

Afrikable Pícaros School Cooperando por Mundo Mejor

THANK YOU LOLA

THANK YOU TEAM

 

Author: Mabel Deza | Translator: Rubén Duarte

Wednesday, 27 December 2017
Published in PROJECTS
Written by

A few months ago we were lucky enough to share special moments with a very special girl. Saedi came to Lamu to do her internship at Afrikable. Saedi is, above all, a brave woman who is bursting with life, strength and courage... an example to follow at only 18 years old.

MGF Taller
Her parents are from Gambia and, although she was born in Spain, it wasn’t until a few months ago that she obtained her Spanish nationality. “My dad lived in Spain as if he were still in Gambia, he forbade me and my siblings to speak in Spanish at home, and he would beat us if he heard us speak in any language other than Soninké, our mother tongue”. Although that’s not the only reason why he beat them... abuse was constant at home.

When she was 8, her parents took her on a trip to Gambia with her little sister to learn how to be like Gambian women. Back then she didn’t know that trip would mark a before and after in her life. They stayed at her father’s house in Turekunda, a small village far from the capital of Gambia. One morning like any other, after a breakfast like any other, her mother dressed her in a cloth that seemed very strange to her and took her to the bathroom where suddenly more women came in: her cousin and her mother held her to the ground, one leg each, another woman stood behind her holding her body and arms. Lastly, another woman entered the room with a blade in her hand.

“I don’t really remember it as something extremely painful, but I do remember the screams of my sister when it was her turn” Saedi says. Maybe her mind wanted to erase such a horrible memory, maybe the fear or tension made her focus on what happened to her sister so she could somehow mentally escape what was happening to her. Maybe it simply didn’t hurt her as much as she expected.

MGF Taller
If I put myself in her place, in the place of an 8-year-old girl who suddenly is taken to the bathroom and forcibly held to the ground by 3 or 4 women while another one wields a blade in her hands, I would be terrified. In any case, what is clear is that that day, when others decided for her what to do with her body, they rode roughshod over her rights as a child and her rights as a woman.

Her parents returned to Spain, but she was left with her aunt in Gambia waiting to find a husband for her. During that period, abuse and mistreatment were common in her day to day life. Two years later Spanish bureaucracy gave Saedi a golden opportunity. She had to renew her residence permit since her father never registered her as a Spaniard in the civil registry despite being born and raised in Spain. He had to bring her back to Spain for the paperwork, and due to the precarious economic situation that the family was going through at that time, they could not send her back to Gambia.

The physical abuse continued in Spain, but one day Saedi, at the young age of 13, decided to let the brave woman inside her come out, the woman she has become now, and put an end to that situation. She talked to her teacher about everything that was happening to her and immediately all protocols for child protection were implemented. From that moment, thanks to Generalitat of Catalonia and Children’s Villages, she is safe and more full of life than ever before.

Within the cycle of women's rights, and specifically following previous workshops on gender violence, we wanted to close this cycle by raising awareness about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as the ultimate expression of the violation of the rights of women and girls, as well as a clear example of both physical and psychosexual violence against all of us.

MGF Stop

It is very common to hear about “female circumcision” when referring to FGM, and that’s why we wanted to focus our workshop on highlighting precisely the differences between male circumcision and female genital mutilation.

MGF Taller

Male circumcision is one of the oldest known surgical operations, it consists in the removal of the foreskin (skin that covers the glans of the penis). The main reasons for its practice are religious, cultural and for health. It is estimated that around 30% of men of the world’s population are circumcised. The risk of complications during surgery, or post-surgery, is 2%, and they are easily treatable in most cases. Recent studies by the World Health Organization indicate that male circumcision significantly reduces the number of urinary infections, some types of cancer, and even sexually transmitted diseases. Special mention for the WHO studies that show that male circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection by approximately 60%.

MGF Circuncisión Mapa

Female Genital Mutilation comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia and other injuries to them for non-medical reasons. It has no beneficial effect on health and harms women and girls in many different ways. It can cause severe bleeding and urinary problems, and may later cause cysts, infections, birth complications and increased risk of newborn death. More than 200 million women and girls have now been subjected to FGM in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where this practice is concentrated.

MGF Mapa

Female genital mutilation is classified into three major types:

  • Type 1 - Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris.
  • Type 2 - Excision, involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva), with or without excision of the labia majora (the external skin folds of the vulva).
  • Type 3 - Infibulation, consists in the narrowing of the vaginal opening, which is sealed by cutting and repositioning the labia minora or majora, sometimes by stitching them, with or without removal of the clitoris (clitoridectomy).

Tipos de Mutilación Genital Femenina

FGM is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of women and girls. It reflects a deep-rooted inequality between the sexes and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is almost always carried out on minors and constitutes a violation of the rights of girls. It also violates the rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right not to be subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life in cases in which the procedure leads to death.

According to UNICEF, 9.3 millions of women and girls in Kenya (27% of the total) have experienced female genital mutilation, which positions Kenya as the number 17 of the 29 African countries where FGM is practised.

Mutilación Genital Femenina en África

The ethnic group that practises FGM the most is Cushite, which includes the Somali, Borana and Orma tribes. The Maasai and Samburu tribes from the Nilote ethnic group also practise it to a great extent. On the contrary, the ethnic group that practises FGM to a lesser degree is Bantu, among which are the Giriama, Pokomo and Kikuyu tribes, as well as the Swahilis. 87% of the mutilations in Kenya correspond to type number 2: Excision.

Mutilación Genital Femenina por tribus

In 2011, a law banning Female Genital Mutilation was passed in Kenya: “The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation ACT nº32, 2011”. Under this law, it is illegal to practise FGM or even to take a woman or a girl abroad to practise it.

Since the law was passed, the practice has fallen by 11%. In contrast, the girls who suffer it keep getting younger, probably so they won’t be able to resist while being mutilated. If girls reach school age, they will probably refuse to undergo the practice since nowadays there is more information on the subject and they would have more options to lodge a complaint.

Many of the Afrikable women were subjected to mutilation when they were little, or even their daughters have experienced it. They all agree that there are no rules related to religion that force people to carry out FGM; most recognise that it is a cultural issue, that has been done ancestrally, that nobody told them it was wrong and that other options existed. In the past, women who didn’t undergo ablation were rejected by their community and couldn’t find a husband since they feared they would leave them for other men. It was also practised as a way to keep virginity intact until marriage. They now realise that men from their tribes marry women from other tribes where ablation is not practised and they wonder why they have to undergo it.

Since the law was passed, they have encountered many difficulties to carry out FGM on their daughters, and fortunately many have been saved from being mutilated. After the workshop they have verified and understood that some traditions are better relegated to the past.

All women were impressed with Saedi’s testimony and strength, and encouraged her to specialise in this area, thus, with her testimony, she would be able to contribute in the fight to eradicate female genital mutilation.

MGF Taller

Saedi, you are quite the role model… we congratulate you for being the way you are and we encourage you to move forward, to become the great woman we know you are going to be… It was our good fortune to count on your support and collaboration with Afrikable. Karibu tena!!

MGF Taller

MGF Taller

 

Author: Lola Serra | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Monday, 06 November 2017
Published in PROJECTS
Written by

"It’s been over 50 days since I returned from what was the best experience of my life. I find it very difficult to explain to my friends, colleagues, family, how the experience went when they ask me ‘How was Africa?’ It would take me a long time to answer the question.

In order to explain my experience, I have to go back to May 30, 2012 when I went to pick up my partner at Madrid’s airport. Maitane came back from her trip to Afrikable after being on an island called Lamu for a month. I will always remember her first words when she saw me right after passing the automatic doors: ‘I have to go back.’

During the next five years, every time we had to plan our vacations, Maitane always said: ‘Another year that I’m not going back to Afrikable, Visu we definitely have to go together next year’.

After five years of ‘holding on’, I finally decided to make the trip with her to that island in Kenya about which I had heard hundreds of stories, flavors, smells...

The unforgettable experience starts from the moment you hop on the boat that will take you to the island of Lamu. There it was. After such a long time, there was only a five-minute journey between us.

David y Maitane camino a Lamu

When you set foot on Lamu, you notice the special charm it gives off. To get to Afrikable, your bags are carried by the unforgettable donkey, Pantoja.

In the first walk from the harbour to the Shamba, you quickly realise that the island of Lamu will leave a mark on you. During the scarcely 25-minute walk, I remember greeting more than 100 people. Everyone with a smile on their face. When we got to the Shamba, we were ‘attacked’ by a crowd of children whose only desire was to hug you, kiss you and touch you... Consequence: first moment I had goose bumps.

From the first time I passed Afrikable’s door, I felt like Maitane had lied to me on her stories about the little and homely NGO. What I had in front of me and was able to enjoy is a great project that grows step by step, bit by bit. That’s what we went there for, to do our bit.

In my case, I had to help Madame Joice within the school department. In my professional life, I teach adults and I had not dealt with so many ‘little monsters’ at the same time before. After ten minutes, I had them controlled with a couple of ‘Sasa hapana, sasa school, na after we kucheza’. The mixture of languages all volunteers speak from the first day, and after three days you don’t even know what language are you speaking when your colleagues look at you strangely.

David en la escuelita

The project grows every day, every hour, thanks to the daily effort of the women there. They are an example of self-improvement, bravery, courage. Each one of them has a story that makes you shiver just from hearing it.

Just like everyone else, we leave our comfortable life behind to go contribute. I think I did my bit, but I must admit that I’m taking with me a whole bag of bits. A bag that will be with me for the rest of my life and I will forever carry in my heart.

After five years, I understand Maitane’s words perfectly. Now I am the one who wants to go back.

David en la escuelita

Asante Sana.

Nakupenda Lamu.

Nakupenda Afrikable.

 

Author: David Martínez | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Sunday, 29 October 2017
Published in PROJECTS
Written by

"I can finally say that I officially belong to the group of people affected by ‘Africa’s ills’. Far from being an illness, it is an emotional state that those of us who have visited the continent and feel the need to come back suffer. To feel again, to smell, to breathe, to contemplate its people, its colours, its music, its energy, its horizon, its sky and a whole range of sensations that get you caught up in a feeling of vitality and strength that you don’t want to stop experiencing.

Testimonio_Maitane_BEFORE_and_AFTER

All thanks to you, Afrikable. A small project I discovered 5 years ago while surfing the net in search of myself. Although, 5 years later I can no longer say that you are a small project. I met you as a humble family with many challenges to overcome and I’ve had the privilege of seeing what you have become through the years.

The modest house you had at the time was called ‘Alipenda’, the first one to give shelter to such an ambitious project. All activities were carried out there: the women’s workshop, the children’s school, the babies’ area, the kitchen, the volunteers’ area and the founders and the coordinator’s office. The idea of having a piece of land (a Shamba) to develop Afrikable’s hopes and dreams was a bold vision of the future. And yet here you are, more determined than ever after facing several obstacles, difficulties and frustrations that didn’t stand a chance against the many moments of joy, overcoming and achievements.

It has been overwhelming to come back to the same place and see everything you have achieved and how much you’ve grown from the front row. A piece of land that houses several buildings: the sewing workshop with new machinery, the footwear workshop, a storage room, a big office for the project’s management, two nursery schools, the babies’ area, a dining hall that caters to more than 100 children, the Maternity Home (probably the biggest proof that everything is possible), an orchard that symbolizes how even in the most inhospitable places everything can grow with a lot of effort and love, and a cosy space for volunteers. Now more than ever, I have felt what Afrikable means: Africa is possible..

Maitane con Rukija

About this second experience I would highlight the self-improvement, strength and empowerment lessons learned from each one of the women that are part of the project. Their stories are a burden they have to carry every day; their strength and lust for life never cease to amaze me. One of the tasks I had to carry out every morning was to go down to the Afrikable store in the village (Lamu), Mariam Ramadhan was there, and starting my day thinking about her smile when she saw me walk through the door made the heat and the 30-minute walk on the sand to get there be ‘Hakuna Matata’ (no worries).

Maitane con Mariam Ramadhan

I close a chapter of my life in the knowledge that I will cross paths with Afrikable’s women and children again, after all, everything happens in threes. I will come back to see firsthand how each seed you have planted has grown, to see how women have continued to acquire their empowerment and how the children have grown up with the tools you provided them with.

Asante Sana (thank you very much) to the brave and courageous women, to the lively and strong children, to each member of the great Afrikable family for opening your home to us, for opening our eyes and showing us the essentials of life, and, in short, for opening up your hearts to us. Once again, I have tried but I couldn’t give more than I have received.

Maitane en el poblado Orma

 

Author: Maitane | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

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ABOUT AFRIKABLE

Afrikable is a Spanish charitable organisation, registered in the National Register of Associations under number 1/1/594088 and in the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID)'s Register of Non-Governmental Organisations under number 2033.

 

In Kenya our association is called Afrika Able Organization and is registered with Kenya's NGO Coordination Board under number 10976.

WHERE ARE WE

  • Lamu, Kenia.
    Madrid, Spain
  • +34 605 722 162