1245. Michael Deriaz
Michael Deriaz founded ‘Friends of Kipkelion’ - a remote area of Kenya - which runs a novel FGM education programme, teaching almost 3,000 girls a year about the dangers of female genital mutilation and offering an alternative rite of passage.
Michael gave up his job as a tax professional to build the charity which works in a remote, mountainous part of Kenya to support water, sanitation and healthcare projects in the region, and consequently improve education opportunities for children, especially girls. The charity’s FGM project in particular works closely with the local community to ensure girls can still celebrate their coming of age but without suffering the appalling experience of FGM, helping to end the practice in the region. ‘Friends of Kipkelion’ receives UK aid for their work to end FGM through the Department for International Development’s (DFID) Community Partnership grant.
In a personal letter to Michael, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are supporting the movement to end FGM in the Kipkelion region of Kenya by educating thousands of girls about alternative rites of passage.”
“It’s so important to know that things you do as an individual to make the world a better place are supported by the community at large. The Points of Light award demonstrates that support – and that’s wonderful.”
In addition to their work to end FGM, ‘Friends of Kipkelion’ receive a UK aid Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) grant to help improve maternal and newborn health services for 12,000 people in rural Kenya. SCCF re-opened for applications on 5 September 2019. It is DFID’s first programme dedicated to working with very small British charities to help meet the UN Global Goals. The first review date for applications is 28 November 2019. To apply, and for more information, click here.
The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.Volunteer now