My name is Annaliese Chloe and I study Education and Fine Art here at University of Chester.
During lockdown, I made the decision to enter the Miss Cheshire beauty pageant. All the girls in the competition are raising money for a charity called One Woman at a Time. Collectively, we have raised over £11,000 and we still have three months to go before finals night to raise even more.
One Woman at a Time is an organisation that aims to educate, support and empower women. Their main priority is helping females who are at risk of forced marriage, FGM (female genital mutilation) and domestic abuse in Kenya, India and the United Kingdom. FGM is extremely popular among the Pokot community in Kenya mainly because the event brings the social recognition of an adolescent or adult female being eligible for marriage. Female Genital Mutilation involves a procedure where they partially or totally remove the external female genitalia region. As you can imagine, this can create some short and long term consequences such as; severe pain, infertility and even death, just to name a few. You may be thinking why do these girls go through this? It is their tradition and culture as a form of social consensus that if households or individuals do not perform FGM on their daughters then they are at risk of being ridiculed or stigmatized in the community for not finding a suitable partner for marriage. In August 2009, nearly 80% of Pokot girls had taken part in FGM in order to be eligible for marriage and conform to society. The charity listens to these girls in terms of educational, emotional and financial support and offer opportunities to create choices. They offer these girls grants and bursaries to attend school, university, nursing college and vocational training as well as offering support for the women who have suffered from gender-based violence through forms of therapy.
I am extremely passionate about raising this issue with all of my fellow students to gain more awareness. Hopefully you can help me raise money for the women in the Pokot community. Educating these girls means they are less likely to die during childbirth and less likely to get married as well as have children at an early age. They are more likely to provide better nutrition for their children, more likely to find work and also narrow the gender pay gap.
This charity is 100% funded by charitable support from people like you and we need your help. I am currently taking part in a challenge created by the organisation, ‘Snowdon by Stairs’ where I will be walking the length of Snowdon in the comfort of my own home. I am asking you to help me in my journey in raising money and reach our target of £15,000.
Here are some facts from the charity on what your money can go towards; £5 a week pays for a girl to go to refuge from fleeing FGM and then go on to full time primary school education. £4 a week can pay for reusable sanitary wear for 50 girls a year. £1 a day puts a girl running from FGM into secondary school. £20 a week pays for a young mother to become a nurse on a three-year course and £250 pays for an incubator. You can donate via my Just Giving using this link – https://missmanchesterofficial.co.uk/portfolio/annaliese-chloe/
Thank you for your support and reading this article.
One Woman at a Time website – https://www.onewomanatatime.co.uk/ Instagram – One.woman.at.a.time