“You should sleep with a man and get rid of child ‘dust.’ If you don’t do it, your body will get diseased.”
A demonstration involved one girl lying down, with one of the older women on top.
“You should be dancing and have a man on top of you, making him happy,” she was told.
At age 10, Grace was being taught how to have sex.
Like the other girls in the village, Grace had been sent to camp with her family’s blessings. Neither trafficked nor forced to work in the sex trade, she was attending a time-honored ritual passed through generations.
“Everyone makes sure their child goes to initiation ceremony because you will not be accepted in the community,” said Jean Mweba, an education program specialist for reproductive health and adolescent health at the United Nations Population Fund. “It’s an issue of being accepted in the community.”