About Me: Though proud of her Maasai heritage, Carol Nangeya knew that certain traditional practices in Masailand needed to change. For long she travelled on foot from village to village teaching on the dangers of female genital mutilation/cutting to anyone who would listen. In Maasai culture, genital cutting is an initiation into adulthood. It is also considered a prerequisite for becoming a bride, which occurs, on average, at the tender age of 14. With support from community members and friends she started a safe house for girls attempting to escape this fate, and enrolled them in school. A network of community members, friends, alternative rites of passage and awareness-raising in the community are helping to ensure that Maasai girls in the future will have a wider range of options.Physical and sexual violence are common among pubescent girls, who are vulnerable to harassment and attack by stronger and older males. The home is the first site of abuse and the violence continues to spread as girls are exposed to the wider community.I myself underwent severe form of FGM and suffered for long until i got specilaized treatment and have since been a strong advocate against FGM.

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It is such a joy to welcome you to our community. I so applaud the efforts of courageous women like you, who dare to speak out and in turn, educate us on the challenges and issues facing Masai women in Kenya every day.

On PulseWire, you will find women who are making connections across oceans, continents, and cultural barriers to change the way we live. You might be interested in reading Halima's story about FGM (http://www.worldpulse.com/magazine/articles/a-future-without-female-geni...) in Sudan and connecting with her (http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1361) around this important issue. You are now a member of this vibrant community and I look forward to reading more about your passions, ideas, concerns and dreams. I know that you will find this to be a positive experience.

I look forward to reading more from you, Carol and wish you all the very best in your efforts to give voice to the many who have been silent or abused for too long. In spirited sisterhood, Janice

Hey there! Welcome to PulseWire!

Its so exciting having you with us, I am sure you will have a fun time with your new online friends and you will find this to be a positive experience. I encourage you to take advantage of the numerous resources and features available through our vibrant online community.

Welcome again to our global community and I look forward to hearing more from you here on PulseWire!



Caroline, My name is Rachel Erwin. I am currently the Clinical Director of the SAGE Project a nonprofit organization with one primary aim: bringing an end to the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adults (CSE/CSEC). We at SAGE contribute to that goal by raising awareness about CSE/CSEC issues, and by providing outreach and services to CSE/CSEC survivors.

SAGE is a unique collaboration between law enforcement, public health, social services, and private agencies. Our approach is collaborative as well as prevention and solution oriented; it's about restorative justice that benefits individual communities and the whole of our society.

SAGE is also unique in that it is one of the few organizations that was created by and for CSE/CSEC survivors. Within our various programs, we work with several hundred women and girls per week, and advocate for many more in our awareness-raising efforts. SAGE programs are also replicated by other organizations, with expert guidance from SAGE staff members.

My main focus at SAGE is to create a mental health program that serves the individual through the lens of trauma. I am using a system called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing,) in addition to other forms of therapy to work on the "the nervous system" to help release the trauma from the physiological system. Intruisive thoughts, nightmares, anxiety, startle response all the symptoms of PTSD can be seen through this lens. By addressing this aspect the individual no longer lives in the grips of the past and can live in the present moment free from the effects of the original trauma.

I am very interested in working with women anywhere that suffer from PTSD, this is my mission.

I hope there is something in this information that is helpful to you. Your work is amazing, I send my deep respect to you, Rachel

Rachel Erwin MFT The SAGE Project San Francisco USA