A ‘coming of age event’ without FGM brings joy to a group of young girls in Kenya

Girls in the village of Lelu, in the Kipkelion area of Kenya, are usually at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) when they come of age.

Funding from UK Aid Direct to the UK NGO Friends of Kipkelion, in collaboration with its local partners in Kenya, Brighter Communities Worldwide, has enabled local community health volunteers to run a specially devised ‘alternative rite of passage’ course to FGM.

Photo: Parade through Lelu village organised to publicly denounce FGM
Parade through Lelu village organised to publicly denounce FGM

The local primary school in Lelu was the setting for the week-long residential course, which was attended by 50 girls, and community members contributed food for the girls’ meals.

By the end of the week, the girls were so proud to have ‘come of age’ through this alternative event that a parade through the village was organised to publicly denounce FGM and to declare Lelu as an FGM-free zone. 

One girl who took the course was so empowered that she has offered to return and work as a facilitator on the course next year.

Another girl who took the course had agreed to an early marriage and was about to leave primary school. After attending the course, she withdrew her consent to the marriage and is now determined to continue her education in secondary school.

The momentum for the absolute abandonment of FGM in the area is growing and has been bolstered by the support of many of the local chiefs and elders, and the course organisers have been thanked for running the programme.

It is now planned that this ‘alternative rite of passage’ will be an annual event and campaigning to explain the dangers of FGM to the community will continue throughout the rest of the year, with facilitators from the project speaking out at community meetings, school meetings, weddings and other public gatherings.

Thank you to Friends of Kipkelion for sharing this story with us.


New UK Aid Direct Learning Products

The UK Aid Direct team is proud to share three new learning products on sustainability, reporting on disability, and beneficiary feedback mechanisms

The first learning product is a paper on sustainability, which looks at what sustainability means and how organisations can develop a sustainable approach.

Click here to read a PDF version of the paper on sustainability.

The second product is the first publication in the User Guide series, a learning resource compiled in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Washington Group.

The User Guide is a narrated video, which provides information and advice on how groups can improve reporting on disability.

Watch the video on the UK Aid Direct YouTube channel.

The third product the UK Aid Direct team is proud to share is a recording of a webinar on the importance of using beneficiary feedback mechanisms in project design and implementation. This is a full recording of the webinar, hosted in collaboration with by World Vision.

Watch the video on the UK Aid Direct YouTube channel.


New UK Aid Direct funding round launched

Following the publication of the DFID CSPR today, a new UK Aid Direct funding round has been launched

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) published the Civil Society Partnership Review (CSPR) earlier today, alongside the launch of the next UK Aid Direct funding round, which opens for applications on 14 November.


The CSPR defines DFID’s future objectives, approach and instruments for a partnership with civil society in order to deliver more to the world’s poorest.

The CSPR sets out how DFID will use its partnerships with civil society to support delivery of the UK Aid Strategy.

A healthy, vibrant and effective civil society sector is a crucial part of Britain’s soft power and leadership around the world. The Civil Society Partnership Review (CSPR), developed with extensive CSO engagement, considered DFID’s current civil society funding portfolio alongside the changing global context and civil society operating environment.

Factors that are driving fundamental changes in the international development sector include:

  • a rise in the economic and political power of emerging countries
  • rapid urbanisation
  • demographic and climate change
  • changing geographies of conflict and poverty and technology

These changes are having a profound and increasingly rapid impact on the CSO operating environment, and presenting new opportunities and challenges.

Taking account of these changes, the CSPR will lead to a relationship between DFID and civil society organisations (CSOs) that is fit for the future, more strategic and effective; with opportunities for a broad range of CSOs including those in developing countries, a focus on innovation, partnership and increasingly high standards on efficiency, transparency and accountability. This will ultimately deliver more for the world’s poorest and for British taxpayers.

In addition to publishing the review outcomes, funding rounds for two central DFID CSO programmes (UK Aid Match and UK Aid Direct) opened today.

Applications for funding from UK Aid Direct can be submitted from Monday 14 November via this website.

To find out more about how to apply for this funding round, visit the How to apply section of this website.