(WJBK) - A Livonia doctor charged federally, accused of performing female genital mutilations on children brought to her clinic from out of state parents came as a shock to many.
But to those at the Troy Kensington church in Troy, this is unfortunately not a new phenomenon. For the past five years, Peg Ohman and a group from the church have been traveling to Africa, sharing their own story to inspire and educate the girls there.
The church even made a documentary on one of their most recent trip to Kenya.
"Our focus is on the Pokot Tribe in eastern and western Kenya," said Peg Ohman, Kensington Community Church. "They think that everyone all around the world is being circumcised all the girls. So this is news to them."
The tribe consists of millions of people Ohman says, and this practice of genital mutilation goes back generations.
"They thought this was a way to keep women faithful if they had no sexual pleasure," she said.
Ohman says the girls think they have no other options so the practice is passed on, even evolving.
"Now the women are doing it to the girls because this is what was done to them," she said.
With the arrest of 44-year-old Dr. Jumana Nargarwala highlighting the issue close to home, there is hope the effort to educate will grow.
"Educate other girls this is what was done to me," Ohman said. "Don't do this."
Ohman welcomes anyone willing to help, to contact Kensington Church.
The church plans to go back to Africa in February with 10 or 12 women from Kensington Church.