Father Peter Konteh from Freetown called to introduce me to his guests from Austria. Brothers Walter and Alfred Lutschinger, working for the Charity ‘Desert Flower’, founded by Waris Dirie.

The programme aims to slowly re-educate parents and stop FMG – female genital mutilation. Sierra Leone is apparently very high on the list of African nations who carry out these practices as part of a cultural heritage.

Desert Flower aims to enter into a contract with parents. If parents/guardians will agree not to cut their daughter/ward and let them make their own informed decision at the age of 18 they will enter a food contract giving 21 Euros/month. The child will be screened twice a year and the parent will also agree to attend two educational workshops per year. There is also an offer of school fees being paid plus a very small contribution towards the provision of medication.

At OAKS, classes 1 – 6 and Junior Secondary 1, we have 166 girls.

Following a parents meeting Thursday 22nd May, during which many of the parents expressed an interest, we will endeavour to arrange, via Father Konteh, a spokesperson for the charity to address their next meeting in July.