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CHANGE Agents in Sweden

 

Andargachew MESHESHA, was born 1945 in Ethiopia and migrated already in 1966 to Sweden. Andargachew is a pensioner and still highly active for his community. He is the Vice President of Swedish organization for immigrant associations in Uppsala (SIU), chair person for Ethiopian rehabilitation and development association in Uppsala. At the moment he is elected as a representative for the social democratic party in Uppsala.

With his analytical nature and pedagogic skills Andargachew wants to contribute his knowledge and ability to out project as a Change Agent. “Female genital mutilation is one of the social problems which most of African countries face today, it must be totally eradicated.”

 

Dieudonné Mparara Ruchogeza was born in the eastern DR Congo and is currently living in Sweden where he conducts research in different areas connected to FGM. After university, where he obtained a degree in social sciences and rural development, he set-up and coordinated a NGO, which aims at promoting social transformation through training and capacity-building. Over the years Mparara has worked in several international development organisations active in the field of human rights and participated in training programmes on advocacy and the fight against violence against women.

Mparara is very committed to the promotion of human rights and women’s rights in particular. Yet he realises that legislations alone cannot eradicate FGM and thus wants to participate as a Change Agent to bring about the necessary behaviour change needed to eradicate this practice once and for all. He is committed to the project because in the east of DR Congo women are victims of violence, inhumane practices and of mutilation with tremendous consequences.

 

Kimpele JB. MICHEL, was born 1945 in Kinshasa, Congo and moved in 1970 to Sweden. He is a retired journalist and still active in this field. He wrote various articles about life as an African immigrant in Sweden in order to inform Congolese “newcomers”. Nowadays he is highly involved within his community and participates in meetings and debated with political and cultural content. 

Kimpele is firmly convinced that solidarity and “action” can’t be separated from humanity: “Female circumcision is a plague. It’s barbaric. It’s torture. Nothing can justify its practice. I’ll be more than happy to do anything in my power to help to eradicate it”. That’s why Kimpele wants to be our Change Agent.

 

Mehari GEBRE-MEDHIN, born 1937 and brought in Addis Abbeba, studying and researching at different universities such as the Lund University in Sweden, the Harvard University in U.S., a PhD at the Uppsala University and currently professor at Uppsala University Hospital; is Mehari Gebre-Medhin a multifarious, experienced person with specialisation on various professional disciplines in Human Nutrition. Not to mention his formally memberships in WHO and UNICEF Expert Committees and current organizations such as the Expert Advisory Group to China Disabled Persons’ Federation in Beijing.

Besides all his current work, Mehari still finds the time and space for hobbies and being an active member within his community. He is the chairman on Swedish-Eritrean Friendship Association to work on different topics and issues.

 

Nebiat TZEGHE, was born 1956 in Eritrea and migrated in 1982 to Sweden, Uppsala. She is a laboratory engineer by profession, but as an additional occupation she works within the Eritrean community as a cashier and as leadership member of the Eritrean Woman Organization.

Nebiat has a high motivation to participate in our Project as a Change Agent. As she is a victim herself regarding FGM she has a personal concern to help woman in the same situation and to contribute with her knowledge to the program.

 

Rebecka GOLDSCHMIDT, was born 1984 in Ethiopia and came in 1985 to Sweden. First Rebecka make a profession as a nurse in Health Care and graduated in 2009 from a College in the United States in English, Maths and Business. Currently she works as an immigrant coach, helping people to find work. Besides she is also a senior caretaker.

As Rebecka wrote in her motivation, her wish is “for all women on the face of this earth to be able to reach their fullest potential” and “to be kept safe, preserved and healthy”. “That’s all the motivation that is needed to go all the way and changing the world”.

 

Rose KALOU, was born 1975 at the Ivory Coast and got her master degree in Law Sciences. In 2006 she migrated to Sweden and is now working as a caretaker for mentally handicapped people and teachers. In her community she has a function as a general deputy secretary. 

Rose already worked in the field of human rights and is much interested to help us in our work to eradicate FGM. She likes to work together with people and sees her task to promote behaviour change as an exciting challenge.

 

Saba HAILE, born 1971, comes from Eritrea and migrated to Sweden in 1987. She is working as a biomedicine analyst in Uppsala. But additionally she also takes part in several fields within her Eritrean community: on the one hand as the chairwoman of the event organizing committee for the Eritrean community, on the other hand as a cashier and secretary for the Eritrean Women’s Association in Sweden. 

Saba is mother of 4 children, 3 of them are girls. As her daughters, also other girls should be protected from FGM: “my wish is to help people to understand the consequences of this and remove the bad culture forever.” Her concern is not alone about raising awareness; it is about behaviour change, too.

 

Saba TECLE, was born 1964 in Asmara, Eritrea and came to Sweden in 1985. She works in the field of childcare and acts in her free time as a secretary at the Eritrean Woman Association, thus she is in good contact with the Eritrean community.

Sabas involvement arises from her personal experiences. Being a Change Agent means for her not only to raise awareness concerning female circumcision, but also to have the opportunity to promote behaviour change and to modify old traditions.

 

Zenebech Yibrah was born in Ethiopia and had worked as a team leader for different aid organisations before she moved to Sweden. She holds a MSc in Pharmacy from Uppsala University and worked as a Coordinator at the Swedish Medical Product Agency. Just now, Zeneb started working as a pharmacist.

Her motivation to participatein the programme as a Change Agent is her desire to eradicate FGM worldwide. She only learned about the fact that FGM is practiced in her home country when she joined the Ethiopian women’s organisation “Female Integrety” in 1999 where she met Faana Habteab (RISK). She is very grateful for Faanas tireless commitment against the practice of FGM and learned a lot from her. Now she wants to put this knowledge into action by becoming a Change Agents in the fight against FGM.

 

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