Talking to school children to end FGM

To end FGM, young people need to act as agents of change. In Sudan, organisations have been used inclusive teaching methods to educate young people about FGM and help them talk about their experiences. 

The Youth Forum Organisation advocates for children’s rights in Sudan. They involve young people in their training of other young people – empowering tomorrow’s leaders to change societies.

Supported by The Girl Generation, Youth Forum Organisation created what they called Social Mobile Teams (SAT). These teams were made up of five young people. Their purpose – to visit schools and talk with children about FGM.

They decided to use games as a means of talking about the taboo topic. Heading into schools, they played these games with children aged 9-15. For many of the students, speaking about FGM is not an easy ask. So, each game had a set of questions – encouraging conversation and interaction. They used the Do No Harm approach throughout.

The Social Mobile teams witnessed girls who couldn’t speak about FGM before the sessions talk more openly during the games. Survivors discussed the impact FGM had had on their lives – they said that they felt better from talking. They said that they felt like they had a new family of friends to talk about FGM with.

The games healed girls. But they also educated them. The girls were given a language to talk about FGM – and taught about their own responsibilities to demand for their rights, and speak out against the practice.

In one session a sign language interpreter was used to involve deaf girls. Using role play to elicit the feelings and emotions on FGM – making the message accessible to everyone.

Some of the children went on to make posters and wallpaper to take the end FGM message home. Others spoke to their families at home. Youth Forum Organisation received very positive messages from these families – they accepted that girls can do without FGM and thanked the organisation for education children about their rights.

Thanks to The Girl Generation, specifically funding available via the End FGM Grassroots Fund and the communications expertise via their Social Change Communications Training, Youth Forum Organisation were able to reach the next generation of Sudan to end FGM in one generation.