Five Kisumu Girls’ students have been selected as winners of Daily Trust’s 2018 African of the Year award.
Stacy Owino, Purity Achieng, Ivy Akinyi, Synthia Otieno, and Macrine Atieno were selected after developing a mobile application called I-cut.
Known as the “the Restorers”, the girls said the app will help connect affected girls to legal and medical assistance.
Girls who are forced to undergo the procedure can also alert local authorities by pressing a panic button on the app.
According to Daily Trust website, the girls will be honoured at a ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria in January 2019, were they will get the $ 25,000(Sh2.5 million) prize money in addition to a specially made plaque.
“The application has become a very useful tool in the war against Female Genital Mutilation,” a statement from the selection committee read.
The Selection Committee of the award is headed by former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae.
I-cut is a slick mobile application that connects girls at risk of circumcision with rescue centres. It also gives legal and medical help to those who have been subjected to FGM.
“The Restorers” are partnering with several non-governmental organizations in their mission to eradicate FGM.
The team beat nine Kenyan semi finalists to secure a spot at the Technovation Challenge that took place in August in California.
The met other finalists from other parts of the world.
Sponsored by Google, Salesforce and Adobe, Technovation challenges girls aged 10-18 to create an app that solves problems faced by their communities.
A study by the charity ActionAid Kenya published on Monday said despite FGM being illegal in the east African nation, deep-rooted myths supporting the ancient ritual persist.
The survey – based on interviews with almost 400 girls and women in eight Kenyan counties – found that FGM affected not only their health, but also their schooling.
“Despite efforts to curb FGM, this type of violence against women and girls is so normalised in some communities. Girls are socialised into believing they must undergo the procedure,” Agnes Kola, women’s rights coordinator for ActionAid Kenya, said.
More on this: Fear, prestige pushing Kenyan girls into FGM – ActionAid
Also read: [VIDEO] Why I am against the cut: FGM survivors speak out