In December 2018, the National Child Helpline received a call from a man in Butiama district. His sister-in law had invited him to the cutting ceremony of her 14-year-old daughter, Neema (not her real name). He was Neema’s uncle and was expected to attend this important celebration but he is also the Ward Executive Officer (WEO) and had attended anti-FGM seminars. He decided to contact a police officer who is an advocate against the practice but on failing to reach him, he called the Helpline number 116.
At the Helpline he was advised to get an urgent help from the village security committee (ulinzi shirikishi) in order to protect Neema from being cut. A few days later, the WEO informed us that Neema was safe and thankfully, had not been cut. Neema hadn’t known that her mother had been planning to cut her.
The police informed us that Neema’s mother had been arrested and Neema had been taken to a safe house for the time being. The police officer also added that their ward is very supportive in eliminating FGM.
The National Child Helpline is available across all networks and free of cost through telephone number 116. Call 116 to report child abuse all over Tanzania! You can also send us messages on Social Media via @SemaTanzania or WhatsApp +255 624 100 100