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CHANGE Plus is a project aiming at promoting behaviour change towards the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in practising communities across the EU.
The project is coordinated by TERRE DES FEMMES and jointly implemented by seven European partner organisations and two African associated partners. It is co-funded by the European Union.
The partner organisations are:
The West-African associated partners are:
CHANGE Plus runs from 15th of January 2016 until 14th of January 2018.
The predecessor project, CHANGE, ran from March 2013 till February 2015 and has been implemented by Euronet-FGM, FORWARD, FSAN, Plan International, RISK and coordinated by TERRE DES FEMMES.
Within the CHANGE Plus project, the brochure “Responding to Female Genital Mutilation: A Guide for Key Professionals”, developed within the previous CHANGE project, has been updated and translated in three new languages: French, Italian and Portuguese. The Dutch and the German brochure have been reprinted for further dissemination and awareness raising. In addition, a EU-wide version of the brochure has been developed with an additional part on EU legislation and strategies.
The prevention brochure is designed as a practical tool for frontline professionals in contact with people from FGM practicing communities. It provides specific legal and contextual information as well as a selection of appropriate behavior toward girls and women at risk or having already undergone FGM. Furthermore it shows the responsibilities of key-professionals and highlights strategies to protect girls at risk and help abandoning FGM.
CHANGE Plus coordinators Charlotte Weil and Linda Ederberg as well as Idah Nabateregga, who will be training the CHANGE Agents at TERRE DES FEMMES and Gwladys Awo, who is responsible for the implementation of CHANGE Plus at Plan Stiftung, had the great occasion to meet up with the project’s patron Fatoumata Siré Diakité during her stay in Germany this week. This meeting was all the more refreshing as until now, the only contact between the project coordination in Berlin and the patron in Bamako had been via email.
On 3rd and 4th of March 2016, TERRE DES FEMMES hosted the official kick-off meeting of the CHANGE Plus project at their head office in Berlin. All of the European project partners – AIDOS, APF, Coventry University, End FGM, Equipop, FSAN and Plan Stiftung – participated in the meeting and contributed to its success.
After a brief welcoming speech by TDF’s Executive Director Christa Stolle, all participants introduced themselves and their organisation, as well as their role within the CHANGE Plus project and their personal expectations for the meeting. This was followed by presentations on the over all goals and strategies of CHANGE Plus and specific elements of the first three Workstreams of the project, such as management and coordination, community mapping and project evaluation. As the training of the CHANGE Agents and the Behaviour Change Activities will be discussed in detail during the next meeting in Amsterdam this autumn, the project partners only discussed the call for applications for the future CHANGE Agents as well as their role and duties. Furthermore, the participants extensively discussed the new modules for the training manual and agreed on necessary revisions of the already existing prevention brochure. In the evening, the first day of the meeting finished off with a joint dinner.