Young people take to the stage to end FGM

In Sudan, the Babiker Badri Scientific Association for Women Studies has found a creative way to encourage conversations about FGM. They have used community theatre to communicate their message about ending FGM.

Babiker Badri is Sudan’s oldest women’s training association. The work across the whole of Sudan to promote female participation in community life.

Their end FGM activities were supported by The Girl Generation. Young people took a lead role in deciding how best to spread the #EndFGM message.

First, youth received Social Change Communications Training. The Girl Generation’s flagship Do No Harm guidance was especially useful in a country where FGM is still a taboo.  Young people learnt to be neutral in their message – never accusing or saying what is right or wrong.

They came up with the idea of using theatre as a creative way to deliver their message.

But this was not just any piece of theatre. It was theatre for everyone – and would involve the entire community. In collaboration with Ahfad University, School of Psychology, Trauma Centre, the youth settled on what they called community healing. Translating this into sketches and performances was a totally new approach for Babiker Badri.

The young campaigners took the interactive performances to hard-to-reach parts of Sudan. Everywhere they went the students found that their training made it easier to speak to communities. The end FGM message sparked lively debate. They saw community leaders speak out against the practice. And they saw victims open up. This was community healing in action.

Babiker Badri were amazed by the young people. They were impressive performers. They were smart. And they were aware of the context around them. The idea to use theatre to end FGM was entire their own. The organisers decided there and then they would like to let young people take a lead role in future projects. Supported by The Girl Generation, this would be the first of many more initiatives led by youth.