By Team Western Rural,
We thank God Almighty for his grace, as we were opportune to be part of the campaign to End FGM 2022. This was due to a fund received by Global Media Campaign for a serious campaign against the practice of FGM. It has been a great experience to work with different actors in seeing that we bring an end to FGM.
The community, the media, local authorities, and religious sects were also useful in promoting sanity in our society. We have learned that compromise in society is a big stumbling to the role of justice, especially for young girls. However, the feedback and impartation have been more positive than negative.
We focused our campaign on how effectively we may reach the community beyond discussing it on the radio or TV. That was why we pushed for actual community engagement, and street sensitization (2 days in all), and we backed it up with a 12-minute drama to get the message effective and creatively across.
It is a pity to see how some people are ignorantly willing to go through FGM because they used to see it as a norm. This is why we appreciate the support of GMC in helping us all to influence the media and society at large for sustainable change.
Team Campaign To End FGM was able to move the campaign to End FGM to the people in their community and connect with them on their platforms. Our approach was through the media, community, and online.
The world is moving faster into the digital era and the internet is one pivotal area to popularize a great campaign especially as it has to
do with humanity.
We had to engage the social media with several bloggers as this is one quick place to target lots of people no matter their location. Our designed banners and educative text were of great use as it is making the rounds in social media. This has to do with reaching people on WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok. The message has reached many and now lots of people know we are no longer talking about the age of consent, but to end FGM once and for all.
Connecting with people in our community is one great passion that our team bears. The community is one big family with people of different backgrounds and perceptions in life. The most interesting thing is, we are all living together in one domain. This was why we took advantage of the opportunity to organise a community engagement as we stated in our concept note (proposal) and we were amazed by the huge turnout from journalists, teachers, parents, pupils, local authorities, and religious and entertainment representatives.
The programme was graced by different prolific speakers who were able to throw light on the danger of FGM and how its chain of practice (from grandmother to mother to child) can continue to damage the well-being of women and young girls in society.
People can be glued to visual audio materials for as long as it is interesting and especially positive. With our little resources and networking, we were able to get a few people together and a professional crew to help us film and edit a 12min sensitization drama. This drama was scheduled for release LIVE on YouTube and Facebook on the 3rd of September 2022, at 5 pm. The drama is promoting the positive concept of ending FGM and highlights some of its dangers to women and girls.
Lots of dissemination of the link was made alongside a brief caption that kept reminding people that we are now at the end of days for FGM.
- We have learned so much from our engagement with the community and the media at large while promoting the campaign to end FGM. Some of these challenges are:
- Uncooperative reactions or criticism from victims who believed that the practice of FGM is necessary for them
- In our region, we believe that the media should double up with daily programmes that will promote voices speaking on the subject. This will help more families and communities to embrace the truth and follow good advice.
- The cooperation of the community is lacking to some point as compromise will hinder the effective work of law enforcement bodies.
- Resources to push the campaign to end FGM far and wide is a very necessary matter.
- In some instances, it occurs to us that some people are really afraid to talk about FGM as they think they will be attacked in some superstitious way.
- The campaign to End FGM is mounting higher day by day and it has really become a global issue with thousands of platforms speaking on the topic. However, in all this activity, and from some experience gained, we suggest that:
- This life-saving campaign continues with the energy. We know that with this effective and continuous push, lawmakers in our regions will speedily sign the necessary bill.
- We see it very necessary to call up a one-day symposium or community engagement in different communities.
- To engage our lawmakers to make sure they act speedily on enacting the necessary bill in our region and engage the police alongside medical practitioners on the FGM as it should not be carried out in any hospital, clinic, or medic.
With great passion, we hold on to the responsibility of reaching out to the voiceless and vulnerable young girls and women suffering under a cruel tradition. We believe there are a lot of people waiting on us to rescue them and we want to make sure we play our own role in promoting this campaign to end FGM which is a positive and timely approach.
Team Campaign To end FGM will continue to work relentlessly with much or little resources. We will always find a way to take the good message around, utilize all needful information and work with law enforcement bodies to track down perpetrators. Splendid of all is to see how most people appreciate the unity in this campaign to speak against FGM. There are many people who appreciated the work, see it as a timely campaign, and are willing to give any needful information from their different localities.