Campaigner Ali Mohammed in the Somali community is not only helping to end FGM, raising his voice through media outlets, but he is also changing the way local areas are used. The tree seen in the following photos has been a tree that for a long time has been used as a place that cutters would perform FGM.
It is therefore a very strong social message that many anti-FGM and empowerment meetings now take place here which highlights a community’s willingness to change.
Here Ali reports a recent event he organised with the community at the tree. A tree that once was a tool for pain, now symbolises hope for the future of girls and women.
Hi, there I am Ali, an anti-FGM Activist within my Somali community Where FGM practice is sadly considered to be a norm. This week we discussed the following topics amongst the community and religious leaders:
- The role of Men on FGM.
- Consequence of FGM on in our society.
- How can FGM be reduced.
- Education and why FGM is illegal.
- Health issues relating to FGM
- The religious beliefs ( our religion does not accept this act). In the meeting, there were sheiks (religious leaders).
For a long time, this tree was used for the FGM act to be carried out. Female cutters held their main center here. It was a place that parents used to bring their girls there to be cut. In the pictures, some women victims were also cut under this same tree, and some are reformists who have been empowered through been given help to find other activities like running a small business with the help of other stakeholders.
Above is a photo of Sadia Hussein talking about her experience as a FGM survivor.