On April 18th and 19th 2013, the kick-off-meeting for the two-year EU funded Daphne project CHANGE was held in Berlin. The project is coordinated by TERRE DES FEMMES and aims to diminish the social pressure favouring FGM in African communities in Europe and thereby protect girls at risk. For that purpose the project will work with 48 persons of influence, so called Change Agents. The overall objective is to promote behaviour change leading towards the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in practising Communities across the EU.
The partner organizations EuroNET-FGM, FSAN from the Netherlands, FORWARD from Great Britain, RISK from Sweden and Plan International from Germany participated in the meeting. Isabelle Louis, Project Officer at the EU, was there to answer participant's questions and give input about the Daphne programme and project management.
At the beginning of the Kick-off-Meetings all partner organizations introduced themselves and their work on the topic of FGM. An active discussion about different materials that can be used within the Communities took place. In addition, the project coordinator from TERRE DES FEMMES, Katharina Kuss, gave an overview of the objectives and strategies of CHANGE.
The partners discussed a number of issues and made decisions concerning various topics, for example the call for Change Agents, which will be published within the next few weeks. Change Agents can be male or female; they should come from a country of origin with a high FGM-rate and desire to become involved in their communities.
Further legal and financial issues were discussed, as well as the structure of the CHANGE-Homepage and the logo of the project was selected. The homepage of the project: www.change-agent.eu will be accessible via this link only during the summer 2013.
At the end of these two productive days the next date for a meeting was selected. It will be held in July 2013 and, for example, the training manual for the Change Agents will be discussed.