The project is built on a broad European partnership between seven leading FGM campaigners and the European network End FGM. TERRE DES FEMMES, AIDOS, APF, Coventry University, Equipop, FSAN and Plan have a great amount of experience in working towards eradicating FGM in practising communities in Europe. All partners have carried out Participatory Action Research on barriers to ending FGM, have access to the target group and are very well accepted in their communities.
TERRE DES FEMMES is a non-profit human rights organisation for girls and women that supports girls and women affected by violence through campaigns, outreach work, individual counselling, support of projects and international networks. TERRE DES FEMMES clarifies myths and traditions that negatively affect the lives of women, protests when rights are violated and demands a world worth living in for all girls and women - with equal rights, self-determined and free!
The key issues are domestic violence, forced marriage and honour crimes, female genital mutilation, trafficking in women, forced prostitution and social rights for female workers. The organisation was founded in 1981 and the head quarters are in Berlin.
Christa STOLLE is the Executive Director of TERRE DES FEMMES since November 1990. She built up the head quarter of TDF, first in Tübingen and since 2011 in Berlin. Currently she is in charge of NGO management and is the public representative of TDF. Christa Stolle will be involved in strategic and financial decisions of TDF and might represent the CHANGE Plus project in public.
Linda EDERBERG and Charlotte WEIL from TERRE DES FEMMES are the Project Coordinators. They are responsible for the implementation of the project and for communication between the co-beneficiaries and the European Commission. Main responsibilities are overall coordination and management of the project, including financial issues, training programme, publications and dissemination activities.
Idah NABATEREGGA is Section Manager of Female Genital Mutilation at TERRE DES FEMMES and will lead the training among the local African communities in Berlin.
Trainees with an internship periods of three to six months constantly support the coordination team of TERRE DES FEMMES. Our trainees support us at all parts of the project, especially with the maintenance of the website, the organisation of meetings and trainings and the daily administrative business.
The End FGM European network (End FGM) is a European umbrella organisation set up by 11 national NGOs in 10 European countries to ensure sustainable European action to end FGM.The network creates an enabling environment for coordinated and comprehensive action by European decision-makers to end FGM and other forms of violence against women and girls. The network facilitates the synergy of diverse organisations and the active participation of rights holders and affected communities. The network provides space where member organisations can share their experience and diverse skills.
Natalie KONTOULIS is Advocacy and Communications Officer at the End FGM European Network. She monitors the developments at the European institutions and leads advocacy and communications activities of the End FGM European Network, as well supporting the organisational development of the network. Natalie has worked in several different positions influencing the European institutions for NGOs and for the UK government in Brussels and Cyprus. She was a Senior European Parliament Liaison Officer for the UK Representation to the EU and she also worked on anti-human trafficking projects with Cypriot NGOs, the police and the Cypriot government in her position as EU and Economic Officer for the British High Commission in Cyprus. Natalie holds a Masters degree in Translation Studies and previously worked as a translator for the European Commission.
AIDOS is an NGO working to build, promote and protect the rights, dignity, well-being, freedom of choice and empowerment of women and girls.
AIDOS has been engaged in programs and projects for the abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM) for almost 30 years in several African countries, giving financial, technical and organizational support to local NGOs working on this issue. AIDOS programs aim to build a social environment in which the individual choice may be possible, addressing gender relations and particularly the power imbalances that influence the sexual and reproductive rights of women.
As implementing partner of UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), AIDOS is carrying on a media project involving radio journalists from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal (Abandoning FGM/C on FM!). In Italy and in Europe the Association implements advocacy activities and provides training on FGM addressed to different professionals, including the ones who are dealing with women asylum seekers. AIDOS is founding member of the End FGM European Network.
Clara CALDERA is Project Coordinator at the Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS). She is responsible for the activities aiming to put an end to harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation (FGM), including training courses, advocacy, networking and projects implemented mainly in Africa. In this regard, she is the Vice President of the End FGM European Network. Clara spent years living and working in several African countries managing projects on SRHR and women’s and girls’ rights, including FGM. She graduated in Business Management and Economics, with a final thesis in International Law/FGM, and holds a master degree in International Relations.
Valentina FANELLI is project officer at AIDOS. She works mainly on projects tackling FGM, both promoting its abandonment through the use of media in Africa and providing training, information and sensitization in Europe. She contributed to publications about FGM for media practitioners and about the practice in the context of migration in Italy.
APF – Associação para o Planeamento da Família is a Portuguese NGO born in 1967, registered with the legal status of IPSS – Private Institution for Social Solidarity – and NGOD – NGO for Development. APF mission is “To Contribute for peoples informed and free choices in their sexual and reproductive lives, and to promote positive parenthood.
APF has its central office in Lisbon and also six regional branches covering all the national territory. APF is the Portuguese member of IPPF. APF was distinguished by the President of Republic with the Public Merit Order, in 1998.
APF campaigned and pioneered for family planning and reproductive rights in Portugal in the sixties ad seventies of the last century. Also pioneered for youth sexual and reproductive rights and for legal abortion since the eighties. APF influenced all current policies and legislation in Portugal on S&RH&R.
Not only APF was involved in advocacy but also has been and still is a very important provider of training for professionals and sex education activities directed to different constituencies, namely through the production and dissemination of a wide sex education materials portfolio. In 2000, APF approached FGM problem for the first time pioneering this question in Portugal.
Since then, APF developed an important advocacy role contributing for the emergency of the national plans against FGM and the Inter Ministerial Working Group on FGM which integrates APF and other key NGO.
APF also played an important role in raising public awareness on the problem of FGM and, in the last years, APF was involved in several projects with the risk communities training mediators and leaders in order to prevent FGM.
Coventry University is a forward-looking modern University with a proud tradition as a provider of high quality education and a focus on multidisciplinary research. The University has established a robust academic presence regionally, nationally and across the world and has recently been ranked 15th in the Guardian University Guide 2016.
Voted 'Modern University of the Year' by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for three consecutive years, Coventry University is an ambitious and innovative University. Already known for delivering research that makes a significant contribution to a number of global challenges, the University is investing an initial £100m into their new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’, to ensure its research centres focus on a range of real world issues. Through fresh and original approaches to key research challenges by world-leading experts, Coventry University aim for their research to make a tangible difference to the way we live.
Professor Hazel BARRETT is the executive Director of the Centre for Communities and Social Justice (CCSJ) at Coventry University and a Professor of Development Geography. Her research focuses on social justice issues associated with gender, health and rural development Saharan Africa and she is a specialist on participatory action methods and community-based participatory research. Over the last decade her research has been directed at the social and economic aspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and The Gambia as well as amongst migrant groups in the UK. More recently her internationally recognised research has focused on the Traditional Harmful Practice of Female Genital Mutilation amongst the African Diaspora in the EU.
Dr. Yussif ALHASSAN is a Researcher in the Centre for Communities and Social Justice (CCSJ) at Coventry University. Yussif has a PhD on social health insurance and equity of access to healthcare in low income countries, and his current research is focused on the drivers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the EU and also the design and implementation of interventions for tackling the practice. Yussif’s research interests include social determinants and measurement of health inequality, comparative health policy in Africa, social health insurance and migrant access to health services.
Dr. Katherine BROWN is Reader in eHealth and Behaviour Change in the Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research (CTEHR). Katherine’s research is focused on understanding how real-world health and wellbeing problems can be addressed by scientific evidence-based research. Her research interests include the application of psychological behavioural change theories and evidence to the design and development of public health interventions; the application of eHealth as a format for intervention delivery and interventions to support sexual health and wellbeing outcomes, including the work looking at ending Female Genital Mutilation amongst migrant African communities in Europe.
Equilibres & Populations (Equipop) was created by a team of doctors and journalists in 1993, in the context of the then upcoming International Cairo Conference on Population and Development. EquiPop works towards the improvement of women’s social status and living conditions, which are a crucial lever for a fair and sustainable development. In French-speaking Sub-Saharan Africa, part of our action has progressively shifted to focus on girls, and more specifically on girls and young women whom existing policies and programmes do not manage to reach.
Building on our specific expertise on sexual and reproductive health and rights, we have progressively developed a broader project that involves various action fields and systematically includes a gender-based approach. In order to carry out our mission, we work with a number of actors, including: NGOs, CSOs, health professionals, experts, researchers, journalists, parliamentarians in Africa, Europe and North America.
Aurélie HAMELIN-DESRUMAUX has been a project officer at the French NGO Equilibres & Populations (Equipop) since 2008. After a degree in political sciences, she graduated in international cooperation and public health. In 2007, she worked for 6 months in Senegal for a local NGO «Action et Développement» on maternal health issues. From 2008 to 2010, she ran Equipop’s West African office based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Since 2009, she has been managing the project «Protect the next generation», aiming at promoting the abandonment of female sexual mutilation in Mali and in France among the Malian community. She also works on projects related to eradicating obstetricalfistula, safe abortion, task shifting and family planning.
FSAN (Federatie van Somalische Associaties Nederland) was founded in 1994 and is a platform for and by Somalis. 52 regional and district organisations in the Netherlands are working with FSAN. Its purpose is to support and advise local Somali refugee organisations as well as Dutch institutions that work closely with the Somali community in the Netherlands. FSAN has worked on collaborative projects like ‘FGM in the Netherlands’ and has also delivered training to the youth, religious leaders and key people from Somali and Sudanese communities to initiate a house-to-house campaign against FGM.
Zahra NALEIE is the Senior FGM Project Manager and is working with FSAN since 1994. She is responsible for training courses for women, the material production, the curriculum, staff development and research and feasibility studies. Moreover, Zahra has got working experience in Mogadishu/ Somalia as Head of Training and Curriculum for the Institute of Women’s Education/Ministry of Education. Zahra Naleie also published a number of articles about FGM and is one of the founding-members of EuroNet-FGM. Zahra is FSAN’s Project Manager for the CHANGE Project.
Turning good ideas into good deeds on the basis of a shared vision, a vision of a better future - this is the target of the Plan Foundation Centre. It advises and guides people who want share this aspired vision. The foundation Centre supports participants who consider donating or endowing their assets.
The child-focused organisation Plan established the Plan Foundation Centre in 2005. The umbrella foundation backing the centre is “Hilfe mit Plan”, which has affiliated more than 200 trust foundations and two foundations with legal capacity since its creation. With their yields and donations, the foundations support projects of Plan International Germany in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 2009 the foundation “Hilfe mit Plan” started supporting projects in Germany as well.
The team of the Plan Foundation Centre support and consult the affiliated foundations with legal capacity. There are many opportunities how people can work together with the Plan Foundation Centre to promote better living conditions for children and young people.
Individuals and also companies find a trustworthy partner in the Plan Foundation Centre. In 2014, the Federal Association of German Foundations granted the Plan Foundation Centre its quality seal for transparent and reliable trust management.
Gwladys AWO has thorough experience of working with immigrants in Hamburg, especially with regard to their social and professional integration. She will coordinate, execute the project activities and lead the training against FGM among the local immigrant communities in Hamburg. She has been leading the project during the first phase of CHANGE as well.
Christin ERNST is the Officer for CHANGE Plus. She started working with Plan as a student assistant in 2013 and has closely worked with Anja Stuckert on the Change project. Her main responsibilities are the financial management of the project, creating reports and materials for the EU, public relations and fundraising as well as organisational support. She works closely with Gwladys Awo to coordinate the activities. Alongside her work at Stiftung Hilfe mit Plan she is currently completing her master’s degree in political science.
Dr. Anja STUCKERT works as Gender Advisor in Plan since 2006. The abandonment of female genital mutilation is one of her key areas of work. She has been responsible for leading two Plan studies on the issue and is active in lobby and advocacy work in Germany and the EU on the issue. She has been coordinating the first phase of the project and is now supporting CHANGE Plus in the development of new training modules and the Theory of Change as well as giving advice on other content-related issues.
The West-African organisations Plan International Mali and Bangr Nooma in Burkina Faso are involved in the project as associated partners. Both have rich experience in community-based work against FGM. They are running widespread campaigns for the abandonment of FGM in Mali and Burkina Faso, working together with local chiefs and village elders.
In the CHANGE Plus project they will share their experience via Skype conferences with the European CHANGE Agents/Champions, so that both may learn from each other and bridges between Africa and Europe will be built, working together for the abandonment of FGM.
Bangr Nooma, whose name literally means „Nothing is better than knowledge!“ was founded in 1998 and has been promoting the abandonment of FGM in Burkina Faso ever since. In doing so, Bangr Nooma has developed its very own holistic approach to working with practising communities. Usually, their interventions take about three years, during which Bangr Nooma is continuously working with the targeted community and training influential community members, such as chiefs, teachers and police officers as multipliers. Midwifes and excisors are at the heart of Bangr Nooma’s activities. The association provides them with new income generating activities that allow them to quit practising FGM for a living. The last step of the approach is the establishment of village committees in charge of protecting girls at risk. So far, 820 of these village committees have been established, 400 excisors gave up their profession and are now supporting the campaign and raising awareness. More than 32.000 girls have been protected from undergoing FGM because of Bangr Nooma’s work.
The facilitators, or animatrices and animateurs as Bangr Nooma calls them, play a key role for the success of the association’s programmes. Once they have won people’s confidence, they can work to effectively address the taboo subject of FGM by the use of a vast repertoire of awareness-raising activities: Forum theatre, movie screenings followed by public debates, educative chats (causeries éducatives) in different settings (schools, markets, home visits) and with different social groups. By training multipliers, they pass their expert knowledge on and contribute to lasting behaviour change.
Rakieta POYGA is the founder and director of the Association Bangr Nooma. She is responsible for managing and coordinating all of the organisation’s activities, as well as for representing Bangr Nooma to the public and its partners. Therefore, she is also the main person in charge of CHANGE Plus at Bangr Nooma. A team of ten facilitators, five women and five men, supports her.
Arsène OUEDRAOGO is in charge of planning and implementing all activities having to do with FGM. Alongside his valuable work at Bangr Nooma, he is currently completing his master’s degree.
Rosine IMA has been working for Bangr Nooma for more than seven years in the field of promoting the abandonment of FGM. She is mainly working in the rural area of Pulsego, reaching out to Moré-speaking communities. She is very experienced and looking forward to share her knowledge with the CHANGE Champions in Europe.
Plan International is a child-centered community development organisation which began its operations in Mali in 1976 to help poor children to access their rights to health, education, protection and ensure their livelihoods. We work in partnership with the government, communities, civil society organizations and bilateral and multilateral institutions. Together we strive to achieve lasting development in the lives of more than 30,000 children in over 292 village communities in the regions of Kayes, Koulikoro and Segou.
With the complex emergency the country has been experiencing since 2012, the strategic plan has been reviewed to take into account an emergency response program for the North, specifically Timbuktu, where we are focusing on education and protection in emergencies and on improving community resilience through cash transfer and youth skill development.
As child protection is a priority for all of Plan International Mali’s activities, we are also working in the field of FGM. The immediate purpose of the current project is to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation and promote an environment for the protection of the rights of women and girls in Mali, but Plan is also advocating (at Parliament and government level) for a law prohibiting FGM based on which perpetrators could be held accountable.
After many decades of working in the area, Plan is aware that the behavior change that should come from a cultural shift may be slow due to many other factors including the high illiteracy level among families and the strong influence of culture on decision makers. But steps have been taken and there is hope that a draft bill will be soon made available by the commission in charge of harmful traditional practices at the Parliament.
Djelika TOUNKARA is the Programme Support Manager in charge of operations at Plan International Mali. She has closely worked with the team on the development, planning, coordination and monitoring of the FGC project. She took part in various activities and conferences on the subject at national or community level. Her experience in the challenging implementation of the activities is a wealth of knowledge that could serve the network in the building of the future partnership.
Thiekoro COULIBALY is providing support to the communication activities and visibility of Plan International Mali’s FGC project. He has played an important role by contributing to the development of the communication and public relation strategies. His involvement through reports and success stories releases on the project achievements contributed to improve communication to both internal and external audiences.