SAUTI YA MTOTO
The Sauti ya Mtoto is an initiative of talented upcoming Kenyan Artists founded in 2019 and using Music, Dance, Songs and Drama as a tool to contribute towards ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Kenya by 2030. The idea was mooted by two young enthusiastic anti-FGM crusaders, Francis Odhiambo and Anna Harris and came into reality on the day of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, marked every February 6, and urges people to eradicate FGM. We have since then adopted localized Kenyan theme of ‘’ Ending FGM is my Responsibility’’ (Kukomesha ukeketaji ni jukumu langu).
Our Mission is in recognition that communities hold the key to a successful fight against FGM to promote girls and women sexual reproductive health, as well as address the issue of the early child marriage as a result of the FGM practice. The fight against FGM cannot be won in isolation and, there is need to rope in and work with boys and men in demystifying the myths around it as a prerequisite to marriageability of girls , especially in patriarchal communities, as they are the key decision makers and the ‘end consumers of the product’. The abandonment of FGM requires change in social and cultural norms by building a critical mass of change agents in communities to drive sustainable socio-cultural change.
Our strategy is to use Music, Songs, Dance and Drama to disseminate messages on FGM, child marriages and the need to educate both girls and boys on how to grow to maturity other than through FGM or circumcision. Through Caravan-Road Shows , we will engage and sensitize clan cultural leaders from the targeted 10 Counties of Taita Taveta, loitokitok-Kajiado, Narok ,Kisii, Kuria-Migori, West Pokot, Isiolo, Samburu, Marsabit and Garisa who predominantly practice FGM to declare their support to end FGM. To achieve this, we will design and develop models and tools of communication such as drama, poems, music, theatre and narratives to convey messages on FGM; sensitize the public on the human rights violations related to FGM; develop IEC materials and advocacy fact sheets with key FGM information which reinforce positive behavior and attitudinal change. The initiative will collaborate with respective county governments and strategic key partners to provide integrated information on FGM. The initiative will be implemented in the Month of December 2019 in Taita Taveta, loitokitok-Kajiado, Narok, Kisii, Kuria-Migori, West Pokot, Isiolo, Samburu, Marsabit and Garisa
The organization that wants to bring live music to all people in communities. Instead of hosting concerts in the typical concert hall, we bring the music closer to the community by turning unconventional spaces into musical venues. Naturally… It’s wonderful to bring people to a place and have them feel slightly out of their comfort zone, because it, right away, causes them to sit up and look around in a new way.”
By bringing together two seemingly disparate things, music makes people think more deeply about the music they are hearing and overturn preconceptions, whether about the music itself or the environment around them.
“The world is a brand-new place, it’s so important for all of us to encounter one another, in situations where we all feel safe and relaxed and happy. We wanted to create artistic events which spoke more to what we know the world to be today, than what the world has been. We were inspired by the idea that art can help people redefine community,
“Our live fine arts field—the field that we are a part of—is reaching only about 6 to 8 percent of the population as a whole, in Music event, it’s not in a traditional concert hall—it’s out in the community. It belongs to the community.”