Millions of conversations
At The Girl Generation, we want to help spark millions of conversations about ending FGM aross the most affected countries in Africa, and beyond. One of our strategies for doing this is to equip activists and leaders with the communication skills needed to accelerate towards the ultimate goal - social change.
By talking openly about FGM, we can share information about its harmful consequences, reflect on why the practice continues, and build consensus about working together for its abandonment. We believe that this process is most effective if conversations are led from within affected communities.
In May, we held our largest training to date, bringing together over 60 campaigners from Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and The Gambia. Participants were invited on the basis of their commitment to ending FGM, and their ability to roll out the training in future through their extensive networks. They included NGOs, two religious leaders and a representative from a group of influential village elders. Over a third of participants were young people, reflecting the importance that The Girl Generation places on strengthening the youth movement to end FGM.
There was a real buzz and sense of excitement as participants shared their experiences of working to end FGM, forged new friendships and planned future collaborations. The session on ‘do no harm’ prompted useful discussion, including about the importance of choosing the words that we use to communicate about ending FGM very carefully. The media session was also very well received: a local journalist shared practical tips, ranging from how to frame your message, to how hold a press conference. The final day was spent planning for the future: how participants will work together, seek funding together and apply what they learned to help end FGM.
It was incredibly inspiring to have so many world-changing people in the same room. A couple of our participants share their thoughts on the training:
"I liked all of the presentations and the discussions were interesting and educational. The training will have much impact on the work I do as a project manager and the knowledge I gained in social change communication will improve the services I provide to the communities.”
Sariba, The Gambia
“It is with a heart filled with emotions that I left the training. The time in Senegal was very enriching for me both professionally and personally! I thank the whole Girl Generation team for the warm welcome they have given us. This communication training has allowed me to adapt a new strategy for our grassroots activities. This rich experience will remain in my heart forever!”
Michel, Burkina Faso