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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.
In the course of the CHANGE Plus project, which is co-funded by the EU, TERRE DES FEMMES and APF are organizing trainings to educate CHANGE Agents. After finishing the training the CHANGE Agents work as ambassadors of behavioral changes in their own communities. In total, 48 CHANGE Agents will be trained in Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and France. The second session dealt with the concept of Gender as well as legal dimensions of FGM.
On the 27th August the first training session for CHANGE Agents took place at TERRE DES FEMMES’ headquarter in Berlin. The seven Agents Colette Tchoumbou, Evariste Franz Kapnang Tchaptchet, Isatou Barry, Tiranke Diallo, Fadhumo Musa, Mai Ali and Fatou Diatta originally come from African countries with high FGM prevalence, e.g. Gambia, Guinea, Somalia and Sudan. All CHANGE Agents are active members of their respective communities in Berlin and they are all living in Germany for many years now. Over the coming months the CHANGE Agents will be trained on different issues of FGM. Idah Nabateregga, the Community Manager, will coordinate the whole sessions.
Over the last few weeks, the first training sessions were held by the European partner organisations. People from different African communities are trained on issues related to FGM to enable them to sensitise their own communities as a CHANGE Agent afterwards. Cultural, social, religious, legal and health dimensions of FGM are contents of the training.
After a general introduction to FGM and the CHANGE Plus project, the first training session dealt with gender and women’s rights. Objectives of the session were to understand that gender is a result of socialisation and to recognise the link between gender inequality and discriminatory power structures. CHANGE Agents should strongly believe in the empowerment of girls and women and the promotion of their rights and reject all gender-based violence, including FGM.
Over the coming months, 48 CHANGE Agents and 8 CHANGE Champions in total will be trained in four European countries to promote behaviour change towards the abandonment of FGM in practising communities within the EU.