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  • There's a group of people in Kenya,

  • people cross oceans to go see them.

  • These people are tall, they jump high, they wear red and they kill lions.

  • You might be wondering, who are those people?

  • These are the Maasais.

  • And you know what's cool?

  • I'm actually one of them. (Laughter)

  • The Maasais, the boys are brought up to be warriors,

  • the girls are brought up to be mothers.

  • When I was five years old, I found out that I was engaged,

  • to be married as soon as I reach puberty.

  • My mother, my grandmother, my aunties,

  • they constantly reminded me that, "Your husband just passed by."

  • (Laughter) Cool, yeah?

  • And everything I had to do from that moment

  • was to prepare me to be a perfect woman at the age of 12.

  • My day started at five in the morning,

  • milking the cows, sweeping the house, cooking for my siblings,

  • collecting water, fire wood.

  • I did everything that I needed to do, to become a perfect wife

  • I went to school not because the Maasai women all go to school.

  • It's because my mother was denied an eduction

  • and she constantly reminded me and my siblings that,

  • she never wanted us to live the life she was living.

  • Why did she say that?

  • My father worked as a policemen in the city,

  • he came home once a year, we didn't see him for sometimes even 2 years.

  • And whenever he came home, it was a different case.

  • My mother worked hard in the farm to grow crop so that we can eat,

  • she read the cows and the goats so that she can care for us.

  • But when my father came, he would sell the cows,

  • he would sell the products we had

  • and he went and drank with his friends in the bars.

  • Becasue my mother a women, she was not allowed to own any property

  • and by default everything in my family,

  • anyway, belonged to my father so he had the right.

  • And if my mother ever questioned him, he'd beat her, abused her

  • and really, it was difficult.

  • When I went to school, I had a dream, I wanted to become a teacher.

  • Teachers looked nice, they wear nice dresses, high-heeled shoes --

  • I found later that they were uncomfortable, but I admired it.

  • (Laughter)

  • But most of all, the teacher was just writing on the board --

  • not hard work, that's what I thought,

  • compared to what I was doing at the farm, so I wanted to become a teacher.

  • I worked hard in school, but when I was an eight grader,

  • it was a determining factor.

  • In our tradition, there's a ceremony that girls have to undergo to become a woman.

  • And it's a right of passage to womanhood.

  • And then I was just finishing my eight grade

  • and that was a transition for me to go to higschool,

  • this was the crossroad.

  • Once I go through this tradtion I was going to become a wife.

  • Well, my dream of becoming a teacher will not come to pass.

  • So I had to come up with a plan to figure these things out.

  • I talked to my father, I did something that most girls have never done.

  • I told my father, I will only go through this ceremony if you'l let me go back to school.

  • The reason why, if I ran away, my father will have a stigma, people will be calling him,

  • "The father of that girl who didn't go through the ceremony."

  • It was a shameful thing for him to carry the rest of his life.

  • So he figured out -- well, he said, "OK, you'll go to school after the ceremony."

  • I did. The ceremony happenned, it's a whole week long of excitments.

  • It's a ceremony, people are enjoying.

  • And the day before the actual ceremony happens,

  • we were dancing, having exceitments and through all the night, we did not sleep --

  • The actual day came and we walked out of the house

  • and we were dancing,

  • as we danced and danced and we walked out of the courtyard

  • and there were a bunch of people waiting, they were all in a circle.

  • And as we dance and dance, and we approach this circle of women --

  • men, women, children everybody was there.

  • There was a women sitting in the middle of it

  • and this women was waiting to hold us,

  • and I was the first, there were my sisters and a couple of other girls.

  • As I approach her, she looked at me and I sat down and I opened my legs.

  • As I opened my leg, another women came, and this women was carrying a knife.

  • And a she carried the knife she walked towards me, and she held my clitoris, and she cut it off.

  • As you can imagine, I bled. I bled.

  • After bleeding for a while, I fainted there after.

  • It's something that so many girls -- I'm lucky I never died, but many die.

  • It's practice with no anaesthesia, it's a rusty old knife

  • and it was difficult.

  • I was lucky because one -- also, my mom did something that most women don't do

  • three days later, after everybody has left the home

  • my mom went and brought a nurse.

  • We were taken care of, three weeks later I was healed and I was back in high school.

  • I was so determined to be a teacher now

  • so that I can make a difference in my family.

  • Well, while I was in high school, something happened,

  • I met another young gentlemen from our village who had been to the university of Oregon.

  • This man was wearing a white T-shirt, jeans, a camera,

  • white sneakers -- and I'm talking about white sneakers.

  • There's something about clothes I think and shoes. (Laughter)

  • And this was in a village that didn't even have paved roads,

  • it was quite attractive. (Laughter)

  • I told him, "I want to go to where you are," because this man looked very happy

  • and I admired that.

  • And he told me,

  • "Well, what do you mean you want to go, don't you have a husband waiting for you?"

  • And I told him, "Don't worry about that part, just tell me how to get there."

  • This gentlemen, he helped me.

  • While I was in school also, my dad was sick, he got a stroke --

  • and he was really sick so he really couldn't tell me what to do next.

  • But the problem is my father is not the only father I have.

  • Everybody who is my dad's age, male, in the community, is my father by default.

  • My uncles, all of them, they dictate what my future is.

  • So the news came, and I applied to school

  • and I was accepted to Randolph-Macon Woman's College, In Lynchburg, Virginia

  • and I couldn't come without the support of the village

  • because I needed to raise money to buy the air ticket.

  • I got a scholarship, but I needed to get myself here.

  • But I needed the support of the village

  • and here again, when the men, the people heard

  • that a women had gotten an opportunity to go to school

  • they said, "What a lost opportunity,

  • this should have been given to a boy we can't do this."

  • So I went back, and I had to go back to the tradition.

  • There's a belief among our people that morning brings good news.

  • So, I had I to come up with something to do with the morning

  • because there's good news in the morning.

  • And in the village also there's one chief or person, male, an elder

  • if he says "Yes,"everybody will follow him.

  • So I went to him, very early in the morning, as the sun had rised,

  • the first thing that he sees when he opens his door is me.

  • "My child, what are you doing here?"

  • "Well Dad, I need help, can you support me to go to America?"

  • I promised him that I'll be the best girl, I will come back

  • anything they wanted after that, I will do it for them.

  • He said, "Well, but I can't do it alone."

  • He gave me a list of other 15 men that I went, 16 more men.

  • Every single morning I went and visited them.

  • They all came together -- the village, the women, the men.

  • Everybody came together to support me to come, to get an education.

  • I arrived in America, as you can imagine, what did I find?

  • (Laughter) I found snow,

  • I found Walmart,

  • vacuum cleaners and lots of food in the cafeteria.

  • I was in a land of plenty. I enjoyed myself,

  • but during that moment while I was here, I discovered a lot of things

  • I learned that, that ceremony that I went through when I was 13 years old

  • was called female genital mutilation.

  • I learned that it was against the law in Kenya,

  • I learned that, I did not have to trade part of my body

  • to get and eduction, I had a right!

  • And as we speak right now, three million girls in Africa

  • are at risk of undergoing through this mutilation.

  • I learned that my mom had a right to own property,

  • I learned that did not have to abused because she was a women.

  • Those things made me angry.

  • I wanted to do something.

  • Every time I went back, I found that my neighbours' girls

  • were getting married, they were getting mutilated.

  • And after I graduated from here, I worked at the UN, I went back to school

  • to get my graduate work, the constant cry of these girls was on my face.

  • I had to do something.

  • As I went back, I started talking to the men, to the village, and mothers and I said,

  • "I wanna give back the way I had promised you that I would come back and help you.

  • What do you need?"

  • As I spoke to the women, they told me,

  • "You know what we need? We really need a school for girls

  • because there has not been any school for girls."

  • And the reason they wanted the school for girls

  • is because when a girl is raped when she's walking to school

  • the mother is blamed for that.

  • If she got pregnant before she got married,

  • the mother is blamed for that and she's punished, she's beaten.

  • They said, "We wanted to put our girls in a safe place."

  • As we moved, and I went to talk to the fathers,

  • he fathers of course, you can imagine what they said,

  • "We want a school for boys."

  • And I said, well, there are a couple of many men from my village who had been out

  • and they've got an education

  • why can't they build a school for boys and I'll build a school for girls?

  • That made sens and they agreed.

  • And I told them, I wanted them to show me a sign of commitment

  • and they did.

  • They donated land where we build the girls' school, we have.

  • I want you to meet one of the girls in that school.

  • Angelene came to apply for the school

  • and she did not meet any criterias that we had.

  • She's an orphan, yes. We could have taken her for that,

  • but she was 12 years old and we were taking in girls who were in the fourth grade.

  • Everybody were telling us Angelene had been moving from one place,

  • because she's an orphan, she has no mother, she has no father,

  • moving from one grandmother's house to another one

  • from aunties to aunties, she had no stability in her life.

  • And people said, and I looked at her I rememberd that day,

  • and I saw something beyond what I was seeing in Angelene

  • and yes she was older to be in fourth grade,

  • we gave her the opportunity to come the class.

  • Five months later, there is Angelene.

  • A transformation had begun in her life

  • Angelene wants to be a pilot so she can fly around the world and do a difference.

  • She was not the top student when we took her,

  • now she's the best student not just in our school,

  • but in the entire division that we are in.

  • She's showing different, that's Sharon, that's five years later,

  • that's Avaleen, five months later, that's the difference that we are making

  • As a new dawn is happening in my school

  • A new beginning is happening,

  • as we speak right now 125 girls will never be mutilated.

  • 125 girls will not be married when they are 12 years old.

  • 125 girls are creating and achieving their dreams.

  • This is the thing that we are doing - giving them opportunities so they can rise.

  • As we speak right now, women are not being beaten

  • because of the revolutions we've started in our community.

  • (Applause)

  • I want to challenge you today

  • you're listening to me because you are here very optimistic.

  • You are somebody who is so passionate

  • You are somebody who wants to see a better world.

  • You are somebody who wants to see the war end.

  • No poverty.

  • You are somebody who wants to make a difference.

  • You are somebody who wants to make our tomorrow better.

  • I want to challenge today to be there first --

  • because people will follow you.

  • Be the first - people will follow you

  • Be bold - standup.

  • Be fearless.

  • Be confident.

  • Move out because as you change your world, as you change your community,

  • as we believe we are impacting one girl, one family,

  • one village, one country at a time.

  • We are making a difference.

  • So if you change your world, you're going to change your community,

  • you're going to change your country.

  • And think about that, if you do that and I do that,

  • ain't we going to create a better future,

  • for our children, for your children, for our grandchildren,

  • and we will live in a very peaceful world.

  • Thank you very much.

  • (Applause)

There's a group of people in Kenya,

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A2 初級

TEDx】ケニアで女子校を始めるまでの私の旅。TEDxMidAtlantic 2012に参加したKakenya Ntaiyaさん (【TEDx】My journey to start a school for girls in Kenya: Kakenya Ntaiya at TEDxMidAtlantic 2012)