The so-called Behaviour Change Activities (BCA) are activities targeting African diaspora communities from countries with a high FGM prevalence rate. These activities are organised by the CHANGE Agents and aim at raising awareness, changing attitudes and promoting behaviour change towards the abandonment of FGM in practising communities. Every CHANGE Agent is free to decide on the type of activity she or he wants to implement. They can organise film screenings and panel discussions to raise awareness among a bigger group of persons, or initiate more intimate discussions within specific groups, e.g. young mothers or religious leaders.
However, the project partners will support the CHANGE Agents at all times: When they are first designing and planning the activities, while they are implementing and finally evaluating them.
To get a clearer idea of what a BCA might look like, check out previous CHANGE Agents’ reports.
On February 25, the CHANGE Agents in Berlin got together for an exchange meeting. Fadhumo Musa Afrah had already conducted her three behaviour change activities in January and February and now reported on the intra-communal discussion on FGM that she initiated. Fadhumo pointed out that the challenges for organizing the behaviour change activities lay mostly in the difficulty to mobilize community members to discuss FGM and join a meeting.
On Sunday, 22nd January 2017, Fadhumo Musa Afrah, CHANGE Agent in Berlin, conducted the first of three behaviour change activities in her community. The activity took place in the rooms of Sharehaus Refugio. The activity was meant to raise awareness on the subject of FGM/C. For this first event, only women from the Somali community were invited. The women mostly came from the Berlin-Brandenburg area, but some even went to the lengths of travelling to Berlin from Osnabrück. About 15-20 women attended the meeting. They were motivated to talk about FGM/C and possible measures of prevention.
Fadhumo Musa managed to create a pleasant and confidence-inspiring atmosphere that gave the women the opportunity to speak freely and without feeling shameful about a subject that is generally regarded as taboo. The four-hour meeting started with a warm welcome and introduction to the topic by Fadhumo Musa. After that, an open conversation about female genital mutilation in general, the women´s personal experiences and the possibility to end the practice took place. All attending women were convinced that female genital mutilation has to be abolished and exchanged ideas about how to accomplish this.
After the official ending of the event, the participants had the possibility for further exchange amongst themselves.