Five Kenyan girls are to be flown to Google headquarters in California, U.S.A, after inventing “I-cut”, an app to end Female Genital Mutilation, FGM.
I-cut connects girls at risk of FGM with rescue centres and gives legal and medical help to those who have been cut.
Organisers say the five teenagers, aged 15 to 17, are the only Africans selected to take part in this year’s international Technovation competition, where girls develop mobile apps to end problems in their communities.
Organisers say the girls could win $15,000 if they win.
“FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide. It is a problem we want to solve,” Stacy Owino, one of the contestants told the media, before flying to the U.S. on August 6.
She said the experience will change their lives.
“Whether we win or not, our perspective of the world and the possibilities it has will change for the better,” Owino said.
UNFPA says one in four Kenyan women and girls have undergone FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, even though it is illegal in the East African nation.
UNICEF also said that 200 million girls and women alive today in 30 countries around the world have been subjected to FMG, a range of procedures that can cause extreme physical and psychological pain, prolonged bleeding, HIV, infertility and death.