Our ambassador talks about how social change communication training can help end FGM in affected communities.
Initiatives for Progressive Change (IfPC) launched a youth network to end Female Genital Mutilation in Marsabit County, northern Kenya on International Youth Day 2016. Since then, IfPC has hosted the network and engaged them to champion the end FGM cause, mostly through social media.
With funding from The Girl Generation, IfPC trained the Saku Sub County young people in social change communication to build the capacity that will help them trigger change in their communities.
The training unpacked in detail the FGM context in Marsabit, the legal framework, myths and misconceptions on FGM, social norms, 'Do No Harm' principles and social change among other subjects. This training was deliberately designed to be participatory with a number of role plays to help the participants internalise the process of communicating for social change.
Despite being passionate about ending FGM, the youth network lacked certain skills and knowledge to influence change in their communities. This was acknowledged by their chairperson Habiba Hirbo who said “Before we didn’t understand how social change happens and probably we were unknowingly causing harm for not knowing the principles of 'Do No Harm'. Since this training we are knowledgeable and well capacitated to be champions in ending FGM."
At the end of training, the network came up with action plan on how they will reach community members with end FGM messages through schools, their peers, women's groups, village elders and radio talk shows. A highlight of the week was a radio talk show (in Swahili) that unpacked what they learnt in the four days of training as they call for an end to FGM and respect for girls' rights.
The training funded by The Girl Generation came in handy to make a major contribution towards this change.