Engaging Young People on FGM in the UK

Engaging Young People on
FGM in the UK
Peggy Mulungo – NESTAC
Dina Baky- FORWARD
About the New Step for African Community
NESTAC is a Refugee Community Organisation that aims to support
refugees, asylum seekers and other new migrant communities,
especially from African origin, across Greater Manchester.
Our focus and vision:
Educate through Cross-cultural awareness trainings
Support, Advocate and Empower clients to fulfil their potential
Research, Inform and Share learning on Cultural issues
Health and wellbeing, using trans-cultural therapeutic approaches
NESTAC started running its FGM programme initiatives in Greater
Manchester since 2008.
• FORWARD is an African Diaspora led charity
working to safeguard and advance the health and
rights of African girls and women. We focus on
FGM, child marriage and related health concerns.
• Our vision is that women and girls live in dignity,
are healthy and have choices and equal
FORWARD’s work
Different Programme Areas:
– Africa
– EU and UK – policy work
– Frontline Professionals Training
– Community Engagement
– Young People Speak Out!
What is FGM?
The terms “female genital mutilation","female
genital cutting“; female circumcision” and
"female genital mutilation/cutting"refer to:
all procedures involving partial or total
removal of the external female genitalia or
other injury to the female genital organs
for non-medical reasons
Adapted from World Health Organization 2008
• Why is it
important to
engage young
people on FGM?
• What might be
challenges to
young people
on FGM?
Core Principles
Always YOUTH led
Engaging in discussion
FGM in Context
Young People Speak Out
• Engage young people from FGM
practicing communities in the UK,
• Build their knowledge, skills and
confidence to advocate against FGM,
• Provide a platform for their voices to
be heard.
Young People Speak Out
• Youth Led Advocacy:
– Participatory Research
– Training and Youth Advocates
– Public Awareness Events
– Creative Campaigning Projects
– Youth Friendly Resource Production
• Schools Programme
• Support and Outreach work to provide and
advice for those affected by FGM.
Youth Led Advocacy
Participatory Research
Participatory Research with young people
– National Youth Survey on FGM
Focus Group Discussions: Manchester,
Sheffield, London and Birmingham
– European PEER Research
Forced Marriage and FGM
Portugal, Netherlands and UK
• Training: provides young people skills
e.g. leadership skills, GBV and FGM.
– Youth Groups
– Specific Projects
– Work with Universities
– Empowered
• Youth Advocates: Peer education
through workshops and events.
‘One thing I liked was the ‘bringing together’ of other
females and the importance of being a female’
Creative Campaigning
• Creative Campaigning Projects
– Think Again
– These are our Friends – National
These Are Our Friends Video
Public Awareness Events
• Public Awareness campaigns and
– National – X takes the Stand
– Woman Whose Canvas – London
– Karibu – Manchester
– FGM Youth Conference – Birmingham
– FGM is Everybody's Business – Bristol
Youth Advocacy Café
‘This event proved that advocacy can happen at any age and begin
from anywhere in the world. It is something we can all do.’
Woman; whose Canvas?
Youth Friendly Resource Production
Information Resources for young people:
– ISS Guide
– 16 Ways to help end FGM
Campaigning Resources developed by young
– These are our Friends - National
– FGM Factfile: Interactive Teaching Resource
– FGM Song – Manchester
– FGM Play – Middlesbrough
Practical Considerations
Creating a safe space
Language Sensitivities and Appropriateness
Demographics: age, gender, community
Supporting young people to negotiate age/power
• Support structures in place for young women
• Safeguarding and referral pathways
Engaging Schools on FGM
• Why is it necessary to work with
schools? What are we hoping to
• What needs to be put in place to
enable schools engagement on
• What might be some of the
concerns/challenges with engaging
schools on FGM?
FORWARD’s Schools Programme - Aims
• Equip teachers with the knowledge to better respond
to FGM in their schools
• Support schools to create an ‘open environment’, one
that is safe and one in which girls and young people
know they can receive support around FGM
• Raise pupils awareness of FGM.
FORWARD’s Schools Programme
Staff Training on FGM
Student Awareness Sessions
Youth Friendly Resources
Out-reach or Drop in Sessions
One-to-one Support
Advice and Guidance
Parents’ Session
Supporting pupils to take further action
Schools work in Manchester
• FGM Awareness Training delivered to school
staff across Greater Manchester.
• Provision of advice, guidance and support to
school staff when dealing with a case of FGM
• Students’ awareness sessions (secondary
schools) starting in January 2015.
FGM Schools resource pack
The FGM Schools Resource Pack aims to facilitate
effective school wide engagement on FGM. It
– FGM Lesson Plan: with materials and teaching aids
– FGM Support Resources for young people
– FGM Resources for Teachers:
– FGM information
– Support and safeguarding
– FGM Resources for Schools
That’s how you do it! – Examples of good
Whole school approach
Mandatory training of ALL staff
Safeguarding procedures and point of contact
Engaging young people in the campaign
Setting context – does this make sense to the young
• Emphasising importance – why do young people need to
• Working in partnership
• Knowing what support is out there
Learning and Challenges
• lessons need to be more interactive and activity focused
• Language and imagery: stigma and safety
• Need to get staff on board and prepared:
• Several of the sessions led to disclosures
• Schools need to create an enabling environment
• Awareness should also include focus on support services
• Where is the YOUTH – need for youth friendly resources
and services
• Need to support schools to engage on the issue and
build their capacity
Student Feedback
• “If I had a friend with this problem with the things
that I learnt today I would help my friend with the
doctor or police”
• “One thing someone could do is make sure that
there is somewhere for victims of FGM to go and
talk about it e.g. youth club or a specific centre”
• “One thing I can do is to be aware it happens in
the UK and to write to David Cameron to ask him
to do some work on it. I would ask him to get
more involved with the FORWARD organisation.”
Staff Feedback
• “I spoke yesterday with my class about the
sessions – and the AMOUNT of information
between them that they came up with is excellent –
I was so proud and impressed with them and that is
all down to what you taught them. They even
taught me some things I wasn’t aware of. Despite
my initial reservations, I would definitely have you
back in our school”
• Confidence building
“All of our confidence has grown so much since doing this, we feel like we
now know what we are talking about, so we feel comfortable and confident
talking about it.”
“We were able to motivate each other, as soon as I saw Naima do her poem I
was like, yeah I can do that! I didn’t feel alone, I had the whole group with me.”
• Skills development
“I learnt something new everyday”
Changing attitudes
“They said I was disgracing
Somalis for talking about stuff like
“Some people didn’t know about it
and some had been through it and
so I thought it was good that those
girls were comfortable enough to
talk to me.”
“At first they were laughing but now they actually want to have
conversations and get more informed.
So it feels good to be able to talk about it.”
Young people influencing
their community
“I really enjoyed the event, we feel like
that was the best part, the way the
people were happy and
overwhelmed and looked like they
actually learnt something”
‘I learnt tonight how important young
people are as Ambassadors and how
effective they are to deliver messages.’
Member of the audience
E-mail: [email protected]
01706 868993 / 07862279289
[email protected]
0208 960 4000

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