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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 the 23rd November 2017 the CHANGE Plus partner organizations, CHANGE Agents and Champions, FGM activists, community members, policy makers, key professionals and scientists met on the occasion of the final conference of the EU co-funded CHANGE Plus project. The participants reflected their cooperation of the last two years, talked about their experiences, presented and evaluated results and discussed strategies for the abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM).
The conference, which was organized by TDF Project Coordinator Charlotte Weil, started with three opening speeches. Laila Wold welcomed the participants in the name of the information office of the European Parliament in Germany. Prof. Godula Kosack, Board Member of TERRE DES FEMMES, introduced the audience into the topic of FGM and handed over to Rakieta Sawadogo Poyga, patron of the CHANGE Plus project and founder of the organization Association Bangr Nooma (ABN). She travelled from Burkina Faso to the conference and talked about her long-time experience in the fight against female genital mutilation.
On 22nd November 2017 the European Exchange Meeting (as part of the CHANGE Plus project) took place in Berlin. CHANGE Agents from each partner organization attended the meeting to exchange views, share their experiences in the project, and prepare for the flag action and the final conference on the 23rd. The Change Agents discussed the following topics: “Engaging as a CHANGE Agent/Champion – why and how?”, “Talking about challenges – how do you respond to resistance/rejection?”, “Lessons learned – how to improve the work as a CHANGE Agent?”, “Working with media – Strategies and self-care” and “Targeting the political level – lobbying and advocacy work”. Very fruitful discussions and mutual learning took place.
We would like to thank all the CHANGE Agents for their participation.
On October 12th 2017 the CHANGE agents of the CHANGE plus project met for their ninth exchange meeting. The meeting was used to reflect recent activities, to discuss the project and to consider how to proceed with the team CHANGE.
In the meantime, all CHANGE agents who were trained by TDF as multipliers in the fight against female genital mutilation last year have carried out their activities within their communities and thus passed on the topic to many people. With many conversations and fruitful discussions the CHANGE agents were able to initiate a rethink in their communities.
The last milestones of the CHANGE Plus project are the CHANGE Plus Final Conference - "Protecting Girls - Together Against Female Genital Mutilation" on 23th November 2017 and a Public Certification Event for the CHANGE agents on 9th December 2017.
We would like to thank the CHANGE team once again for their commitment and dedication and we are looking forward to further cooperation!
On September 26th 2017, the CHANGE Champions/Agents met with about 30 members of the European Parliament in Brussels and other stakeholders. The goal was to advocate the support for survivors and the protection of young girls. Therefore, the representatives engaged in dialogue with the politicians, sharing their experiences and challenges from the grassroot levels. In addition, political demands were made and advice was given on how to further tackle FGM.
The meeting was hosted by MEPs Julie Ward (S&D) & Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP). The project coordinator Charlotte Weil started with a general presentation of the CHANGE Plus project. Afterwards, representatives of the project consortium and local communities presented their experiences and so far outcomes of the project. Thus, an extract of „Amina“, an awareness-raising video developed, written and played by CHANGE Champions in Hamburg about the situation of FGM survivors in Germany, was presented.