Sixteen year old Mbusiro found out that his sisters Maseke (14) and Bibiana (12) were about to be mutilated. He immediately took action and alerted Terre des Hommes Netherlands' partner ATFGM. ATFGM managed to rescue the girls just in time - Maseke literally out of the hands of her mutilator. Mbusiro shares what happened.

Child abuse

Mbusiro (16 years), from Tarime District, Tanzania:

“I am the third born in a family of six. Maseke (14) and Bibiana(12) are my younger sisters from the same father. Then we have 9 year old Bkoke, who was born after our mother remarried. All three girls have never been to school.

My parents used to fight a lot. My father would chase my mother with a knife regularly. She would then pack and go into hiding with us. But somehow each time they reconciled after a while.

Sold for bag of maize

Until my father died of stomach cancer, in a period when they were separated. My mother came back immediately. The first thing she did, was selling the two pieces of land my father had left to me and my older brother. One piece she exchanged for a bag of maize, the other for a cow.

Soon after, my mother married our second father. He did not like that I was taken to school by the sisters from the church. He tried to get me out of school and stay home. At home, we were not given anything and treated badly. That is why the sisters supported me to go to boarding school.

Plans to have my sisters mutilated

When I came home after my exams in October 2018, I found that Maseke and Bibiana were ill. With help from the sisters, they were taken to hospital. What I did not know at that time, was that my parents were meanwhile planning to have them circumcised. My mother organised their mutilation, together with a Kuria leader.

I was tasked to rent a room for when the girls were discharged from hospital. Little did I know that this was only to make it easier to catch them. One of the neighbours informed me, and I alerted ATFGM (Association for the Termination of Female Genital Mutilation, partner of Terre des Hommes Netherlands).

The ATFGM social workers saved the girls, just in time. Bibiana was rescued from the room that I had rented. Maseke was already in the hut of the mutilator and about to be cut, but refusing to cooperate, which resulted in a heavy beating to force her.

Rescued and soon resuming education

My mother knew immediately where the girls had been taken, and that I was the one who initiated their rescue. The day after their rescue, my mother came to the gate to demand the release of her daughters, so that she could take them home. But she was not allowed to enter the compound, and of course she never got the girls. Then she publicly issued a death threat against me. She said she will find a group of boys to come and kill me.

For safety reasons I am also staying in the ATFGM shelter. The ATFGM staff is finding us schools so that I can continue with my studies. For Maseke and Bibiana it will be the first time to go to school. They cannot wait to start learning and work on their future.”

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