Girls flee circumcision in Kenya
Female circumcision is a topic no one should have to talk about in this day and age. You would think it's something of generations past, in someone else's world. Yet around two million young girls are circumcised each year, two million symbolize the number of girls who suffer or will suffer from the effects of circumcision.
At least 300 girls in south-western Kenya have fled from home and sought refuge in churches in a bid to escape forced female genital mutilation (FGM).
The girls, some as young as nine, are at two rescue centres in rural Nyanza province, police told the BBC.
Female circumcision is banned in Kenya, but remains common in some areas where it is considered to be part of a girl's initiation into womanhood.
The traditional ceremonies take place between November and December.
Beatrice Robi, Maendeleo Ya Wanawake's district chairperson and a gender activist, says that at least 200 girls are undergoing circumcision in the district a day.
She said she had found a seven-year-old girl who had just been circumcised.
"There are more girls who are still in their homes and they are undergoing it [circumcision], whether it is voluntarily or they are being forced," she told the BBC.
She says her organisation along with the local churches and authorities have been trying to convince the community to stop the practice and rescuing girls from forced circumcision.
She appealed to other girls to seek refuge in the centres until the end of the traditional ceremonies and praised the local police for their support.
Mr Wanjama says some cases of forced circumcision had been reported to the police and legal action has been taken.
The FGM operation involves the partial or total removal of the external genital organs.
The UN World Health Organization (WHO) says it leads to bleeding, shock, infections and a higher rate of death for new-born babies.
In Africa, about three million girls are at risk of FGM each year, according to the UN.