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CHANGE Plus is a project aiming at promoting behaviour change towards the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in practising communities across the EU.
The project is coordinated by TERRE DES FEMMES and jointly implemented by seven European partner organisations and two African associated partners. It is co-funded by the European Union.
The partner organisations are:
The West-African associated partners are:
CHANGE Plus runs from 15th of January 2016 until 14th of January 2018.
The predecessor project, CHANGE, ran from March 2013 till February 2015 and has been implemented by Euronet-FGM, FORWARD, FSAN, Plan International, RISK and coordinated by TERRE DES FEMMES.
On November 23rd 2017, the CHANGE Plus project will conclude with a final conference in Berlin. The project partners, CHANGE Agents and Champions, representatives from the two West African associate partners, representatives from the EU Commission, and many more guests will come together for a conclusion and evaluation of the project and for an outlook on further effort to ending FGM.
The event will include a press event, keynote speeches, a panel discussion on the impact of the project as well as parallel roundtable discussions that each focus on specific aspects of FGM, prevention strategies or project evaluation.
CHANGE Champions will engage with European stakeholders to promote their claims for EU-wide action on ending FGM
On September 25th and 26th 2017, the Lobbying and Advocacy Event of the CHANGE Plus project will take place in Brussels. This is a major opportunity to bring our messages and demands across to the political and policy-making realm.
Our CHANGE Champions, the experienced community-based activists who have conducted multiple behaviour change activities and have been mentors to the new CHANGE Agents, have also been trained to engage with local/national and European politicians and key stakeholders to promote a better environment for the prevention of and the response to FGM. On September 26th, the CHANGE Champions will bring their policy demands to EU high-level stakeholders.
In France, the Change Plus project is developing. The CHANGE Agents are on the ground since february 2017 for the phase of behaviour change activities. So far, we have had six of them in Paris and in the suburbs of Paris. The activities have taken various forms : movie debate, discussions, messages for social media communication. They adressed adults and youngsters from Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea which are FGM practising countries.
On April 29, 2017 the CHANGE Agents in Berlin got together for their fourth exchange meeting. This time, Sister Fa (Fatou Diatta), urban Soul and HipHop singer and activist against FGM in Senegal, invited them for delicious Sengalese food at her house. Together they shared experiences of their behaviour change activities and talked about the planning of future events.
Isatou Barry, CHANGE Agent from Gambia, talked about her first behaviour change activity and reported that many participants, especially the men, had been very grateful for receiving important information about the consequences of FGM. At the end, some emphasized that they (now) rejected the practice of FGM and that they would share the information about the harmful practice amongst their family and friends. Evariste Franz Kapnang Tchaptchet, CHANGE Agent from Cameroon, could not attend the exchange meeting as his first behaviour change activity, a discussion meeting with a few women and many men, took place simultaneously.