Five Kisumu schoolgirls met President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday amid their preparations for the international Technovation summit in San Francisco, California.
Macrine Akinyi, Ivy Wakhungu, Christine Achieng, Synthia Awuor and Stacy Adhiambo go to Kisumu Girls’ National School and are aged between 15 and 17.
The invented I-Cut connects girls at risk of FGM with rescue centres and gives legal and medical help to those who have been cut.
The five teenagers are the only Africans selected to take part in this year’s international Technovation competition, where girls develop mobile apps to end problems in their communities.
The girls will leave the country next week for the competition scheduled for August 7-11. They hope to win $15,000 for I-cut, an app to end Female Genital Mutilation.
The five wanted audience with the President to seek facilitation to enable their computer teacher Caroline Ogundha to accompany them to the United States.
Uhuru did not disappoint during their meeting at State Lodge in Kakamega.
“We shall facilitate your teacher to travel with you. Congratulations and represent our country well. And I want to see you when you come back,” he said after listening to them.
Adhiambo noted FGM is a painful, unnecessary and retrogressive cultural practice that millions of girls worldwide are subjected to, even in countries such as Kenya where it is illegal.
“We feel great to represent our country at this event whether we win or not.”
Whether the five girls win the Sh1.5 million or not, they join thousands of young Kenyan tech entrepreneurs in a country famous innovations such as telcom giant Safaricom’s M-Pesa.