Anti-FGM media campaigners in Koinadugu state, Sierra Leone, Report on their Easter Cutting Media Campaign

Anti-FGM media campaigners in Koinadugu state, Sierra Leone, Report on their Easter Cutting Media Campaign

By Team Koinadugu

The team was massively involved in radio and community sensitizations on the Easter Cutting to end FGM within the district. Through our media campaign and community engagement we can reach 205 thousand listeners in broadcasting FGM messages and changed their perception.

The Media Campaign:

We engaged the Fulla Chief to discuss on dangers of FGM initiations because the Fulla’s initiates their girl child below the age of 8 years without beating or sounding drums.
An activist by the name of Abdul was also hosted to discuss the issues affecting girls and women more especially in the areas of FGM concerning the cutting of girls.

Thirdly we engaged the Limba youth leader of Wara- Wara Yagala chiefdom who talked about the economic implication in the country as the Limba’s gather people, beating drums, cook a lot of food, eat and drink during FGM initiations ( Bondo) at the end they left with nothing but debt which makes life difficult for them and no proper planning for their cut girls, he, therefore, encourage the Limba community to turn away from such acts.

Our media campaign was successful because we can get our studio guests on air to educate listeners, the interventions of team Koinadugu with key messages has created significant impacts in raising awareness on FGM, and also their responses are positive which shows that they have a better understanding towards this Easter Cutting Media campaign in particular.

There are challenges in the implementation such as;

  1. Language barrier in some parts of the district
  2. Poor road network to access the other radio station and communities.
  3. Poor communication network in some parts of the district.
  4. The cost of transportation has been increased as a result of the increase in the price of fuel.

The Messages that came out of this Easter Cutting Media campaign are as follows;

  1. A good number of tribal heads committed to spreading messages of FGM in their local languages.
  2. Pastors pledge to preach the message of FGM in their various churches because the Bible is against the cutting of girls and women.
  3. The closing down of schools has lead parents to Bondo ( FGM Cutting ) but the authorities are saying no to it.
    In carrying out another activity team, Koinadugu would take the same approach because this method has created significant impacts on the people of the Koinadugu District.

Supported by Culture of Resistance

Sierre Leone activists have had a struggle with little funding, a US foundation Culture of Resistance stepped into the breach at Easter, funding all 5 key media campaigns that ran over Easter. While on the border of Guinea and Sierra Leone on the Tano River region preparations are underway there to extend the media campaign work.

Ruth Harley

Ruth is an opera singer collaborating with women in Kenya using indigenous music to end FGM. She is compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM.