Boy & Girl Mentorships


Mentor Program

 

Mentorship for Boys

Kenyan males traditionally are circumcised when they are adolescents by a family elder. This rite of passage holds great significance for young Kenyan men, but it also exposes them to an increased risk of infection.

The Tree of Lives initiation and mentorship program combines a sterile surgical procedure performed by doctors at Nazareth Hospital and a faith-based instructional program that addresses sexuality and the dangers of HIV/AIDS.

Circumcised males have a 60% lower chance of contracting HIV through sexual contact. Following their surgery, the young men stay in the hospital several days and attend classes that teach them to practice abstinence until marriage and to honor their wives after marriage.

 

Mentorship for Girls

Every year an estimated one to two million girls worldwide are at risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation (“female circumcision”) as a rite of passage into adulthood. The government of Kenya estimates that 32 percent of all females age 15 to 49 have undergone the procedure. Traditionally, the rite included teaching by older women about sexuality, relationships and other issues. However, as many communities have rightly abandoned the practice of female genital mutilation, they have also dropped the initiation and mentorship into womanhood that provided young Kenyan girls a road map for a moral and spiritual existence.

Tree of Lives supports a program that teaches teenage girls how to grow into women of spiritual depth and moral character. The program brings adolescent girls to a three-day seminar where they learn factual information about female circumcision and discuss the hazards of the practice.

They are taught faith-based principles for sexuality and they learn to develop a positive self-image, including skills for resisting ridicule from girls who have undergone the procedure. Each girl is assigned a mentor who helps apply these principles to her life and her role in her community.

The Tree of Lives mentorship programs are currently available in Murugi and the Nazareth area of Kenya.