Ashwaaq Abdi, was born in Somalia and grew up in the Netherlands. She has a professional degree as medical assistant from the Nova-College and has experiences in working in different health departments. Currently, she works at a general practice in Haarlem. Moreover, she participated in the Replace Project (October 2010-April 2011) and CHANGE Project (2013-2015) as a member of the partner team of the Federation of Somali Associations in the Netherlands and gained extensive knowledge on the subject of FGM and its impact. The main reason why Ashwaaq wants to be our CHANGE Champion can be succinctly summarized as follows: she vehemently opposes FGM and due to her previous work for the Replace Project and for the CHANGE Project, she is convinced to be able to eradicate FGM and to promote behaviour change.
Aladin Hamad,comes from Sudan and moved to the Netherlands 14 years ago. He got his post-doctoral degree in public law at the Khartoum University in Sudan and worked at the law firm Ghazi Suleimann in Khartoum in 1998. He is now employed at the Royal Library in The Hague. Besides his work he is volunteering since 2000 for protecting women and children’s rights at the Soedani Association in Amsterdam.
Due to his experiences in his home country and his family, Aladin feels responsible to do something against the female circumcision. In the past Aladin was already able to attend trainings and became a key-professional, which makes him a person with much knowledge and abilities concerning FGM. He sees his role as a CHANGE Champion as a way to help women and girls at risk and wants to inform about the issues of FGM in his own and other communities.
Youssif Ouro-Akondo was born on the 3rd of January 1960 in the town called Kpalime-kloto in the Republic of Togo. His parents moved to a town called Hohoe in the Volta Region of Ghana in February 1963. He had his basic, primary and Middle school education in Hohoe Albarka school and moved on to E.P. secondary school to pursue his secondary education. He obtained the SC/GCE O’Level in June 1979.
In March 1980 he left the shores of Ghana to Nigeria to further his education at Idolowu High School in Eko-Lagos where he obtained the SC/GCE A’ Level certificate in 1983. In April 1984, he went to pursue a career in Interior designs and decoration with an Italian company- Krammer Italo in Lagos- Nigeria. He worked with this company till 1990.
He left the shores of Nigeria for the Netherlands in 1992 December and was living in Amsterdam ever since. Youssif decided to join the campaign against FGM due to his childhood experience, where he witnessed two young girls bled to death due to the FGM. He also had some training about FGM from FSAN.
Hawa Bashir is a Sudanese woman who came to the Netherlands in 2001. In 2006 she founded “Soedania”, which has as goal the abolishment of FGM and domestic violence. Soedania also provides support to Sudanese women in Amsterdam and neighborhood. Hawa gives women help, support and information about FGM and organizes meetings for the target group. She has a lot of experience with working with women and she easily wins their confidence. She has very good communicative skills. Because of her personal and professional experiences she is a good knower of many different cultures. Her mother tongue is Arabic. She also speaks Dutch and English. She has often worked together with FSAN and other organizations in the Netherlands fighting against FGM. This is why she is motivated and a good candidate to contribute to CHANGE Plus as CHANGE Champion.