Rayla Melchor Santos with Cicilia Seleyian

​I met Cicilia at the 9th UN Teachers Conference on Human Rights and Peace on April 4, 2014 at the UN HQ in New York. I sat beside her and she was beautiful in her traditional costume and those gorgeous beads I could not take my eyes off. It was her very first trip outside of her village, the Olmaroroi Village in Kenya and her first time on a plane. Your first trip ever and to the United Nations no less! We were all happiest for her!


Cicilia struck me as a very strong and resolute woman who sat proudly speaking her mind and heart for women. This got me to tease Chief Joseph, her better half that Cicilia spoke so well implying she was the better “speaker of the (their) house”! A photo candidly taken by Sam Reiser, from across the room captured this exact moment. The women of her tribe, the Maasai Tribe of the Olmaroroi Village in Kenya are definitely better off in every way because of Cicilia.



​I get chills now recalling how Cicilia after hearing me speak about the I AM SAM Prevent-to-Empower Protocol (PEP), gripped my arm firmly and with those searing eyes that touched my soul said, “you must do something about FGM!”.
Then FGM was not in my purview as it is today. I owe this consciousness to the African women in my life, Cicilia included.
Today, Cicilia, we have I AM SAM FOR AFRICA with the very able Dr. Bisi Adebayo of Nigeria and Geneva, Switzerland at the helm. Together, we are teaching girls to embrace their own self-worth and to say “I AM Special, Unique and Precious and I say “NO” to FGM! Because I AM Special, Unique and Precious, no one can abuse my body and spirit!


Cicilia, you are a Shaker And Mover who makes things happen! You are indeed Special, Unique and Precious!


This is Cicilia and Chief Joseph’s organization: