The vision and the mission of this organization began with Esther Nkatha Gatuma. On the date of 23rd June 2006 she received lots of emails from friends about a BBC report that had shocked the world. The title of the headline was “Kenya Shock at Mutilation Death”. The story of a mother named Ms Julia Kanuu documented that her firstborn daughter whom she could not afford to educate succumbed to a culture that required her to be “cut” in a rite of passage that would prepare her for marriage to an old man. The girl’s name was Pamela who actually mutilated herself because she could not believe that anybody would educate her even though her mother’s dream was to give her an education. The family was living in extreme poverty, they lived in a house made of sticks and mud and their father was a seasonal worker who earned 0.2 dollars a month. Esther’s friends and her community approached her to start the organization because the World Health Organization had resolved that the only way that such deaths could be stopped is by identifying a role model that other your women identify with to take up the initiative. According to the reports we received from the community in Tigania, hundreds of girls die like Pamela. These young girls die in the shadows hence attracting BBC reporters. Everyday 6000 girls feel their flesh cut due to FGM/C.

Statistics prove Between 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM/C. In Africa, about 92 million girls age 10 years and above are estimated to have undergone FGM/C. The case of Pamela is a clear indication that a mother cannot protect her children from harmful cultures when there is poverty. Julia discussed with Pamela that she would give her an education and that she did not need to go through FGM/C. Pamela could not believe that her mum would educate her because of poverty. She ended up performing FGM on herself in order to be counted “fit for marriage” in the community and this led to her death. We empower women with entrepreneur skills to build their self-esteem and to provide for the needs of their families. This will eliminate the stigma that causes girls like Pamela to perform FGM/C. Cultural practices can only be changed by members of the same community because of the trust that they have for each other. We work tirelessly to ensure that every child regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or circumstances has access to a quality education. We focus on gender equality and work towards eliminating disparities of all kinds. Our innovative programmes and initiatives target the world’s most disadvantaged children: the excluded, the vulnerable and the invisible. We work with a broad range of local, national and international partners to realize the educational and gender-equality goals established in the Millennium Declaration 6 and the Declaration on Education for All, and to bring about essential structural changes that are necessary to achieve social justice and equality for all. Too many of the world’s children are out of school or receive spotty, sub-par educations. Each one of these children has dreams that may never be fulfilled, potential that may never be realized. By ensuring that every child has access to quality learning, we lay the foundation for growth, transformation, innovation, opportunity and equality.
 

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Woman of Paradise is registered and incorporated in the state of Arkansas as a nonprofit organization for purposes that qualify as an exempt organization within the meaning of section 501 (c) 3 of the IRS. EIN Number: 26-4820743
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