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.
The advocacy partner meeting on September 25th is a joined effort of all partners, in which CHANGE Champions together with project managers will exchange experiences from the project’s activities and prepare for the meeting with journalists and the lobbying event the next day. The lobbying meeting on September 26th then enables the CHANGE Champions and project partners to convey our key messages and demands to high-level EU stakeholders.
The focus will be on raising awareness of FGM as a global issue that is happening also in Europe and that needs a European response, involving all European, national and local institutions. Prevention strategies, such as the CHANGE Plus project pursues, are the key to ending FGM, and therefore need a longer timeframe and adequate resources in order to achieve sustainable change. The need for substantive training of professionals coming in contact with FGM should also be treated as a priority at EU and national level. Moreover, as a transcontinental problem, the activities and funding of projects cannot be restrained within the European borders but should support transcontinental projects and partners. These and other calls for action result from the experiences of the CHANGE Champions and their exchange among each other and with many other activists.