Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Will you help me fight FGM?
Female genital mutilation is not an “exotic issue”: Today, FGM is one of the most systematic and widespread mistreatment and violation of childrens’ rights worldwide. Every year, more than three million victims are submitted to this violence on the African continent alone. Those victims from Yemen, the united Arab Emirates, Iraq and Iran, Indonesia and Malaysia have even to be added.
The extent of FGM might be hard to believe: Up to 90 % of a country´s or a region´s female children (e.g., in Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Gambia, Sierra Leone, etc.) are victimized by genital mutilations. The vast majority of the victims is physically and mentally damaged and traumatised for life. We have to assume that today, more than 200 million victims exist worldwide.
As long as this violence is not stopped, as long as the deliberate damaging of whole female generations goes on, broad and lasting development in these countries or regions remains impossible. This means, that the end of female genital mutilation and the consequent protection of future generations is a very important key for lasting development.
Every organisation that works with a sponsored child system has a special responsibility and duty of care for the sponsored children: All above mentioned organisations market sponsorships for female children in countries and regions where genital mutilations are widespread.
Have you ever asked the organisations whether and how the sponsored girls are protected from female genital mutilation? Not yet? We did!
We are not talking about some individually viewed cases, but up 400,000 sponsored girls in 18 countries to whom protection is denied!
Please find here an interview with Lucy Mashua, who originally comes from the South of Kenya and who decided to take the campaign under her patronage:
Lucy Mashua comes from South Kenya, from a Maasai family. Today, the 30-years old woman lives in Dallas where, after a long Odysse, she found a new home. At age of nine, she became a victim of female genital mutilation, at age of twelve, she was sold to a 53-year old man, did escape from him - and dedicated herself already at age of 21 to the protection of girls from genital mutilation. Countless girls she helped to flee from this violence. Several times, she has been arrested, raped and tortured by the Clan-chefs - but imperturbably she continued to fight for the most fundamental rights of women and children - especially the fight for an end of FGM. About these practices she says: "Every year, thousands of girls and women die from female genital mutilation - if this is not genocide, what is it then?" ... "I want to be a voice for the voiceless" Lucy claims and raises her voice - strong, consequent and imperturbable. Lucy Mashua supports our campaign to protect sponsored girl-children in projects of German and International development agencies.
She talked with us about her decision.
What you can do
Until now, PLAN International, World Vision, Kindernothilfe (Germany) and ChildFund Germany have not felt prompted to protect the sponsored girls from FGM. One reason for their ignorant attitude is the fact that donors mostly do not consequently demand the protection of their sponsored children.
As long as you, as a donor, accept the organisations' policy of FGM-tolerance and silently continue to wire money to their accounts, you encourage them to retain this policy.
But if you think that it's time for a change you can play an important part in this – and it does not cost you any money, but only a few minutes of your time and a few clicks:
Simply sign one, several or all of the following letters and send them to the board of PLAN International, World Vision, Kindernothilfe (Germany) and Children's fund CCF / ChildFund Germany.
By signing these letters:
- you call for the stipulation of the safety and protection from FGM of the sponsored girls in the preconditions for support for the communities,
- you call for a careful selection of the project partners, means that only those communities are supported who respect the most fundamental children's and human rights and and so proof their will to develop,
- you call for an investment of donations in the most economic and effective way.
Letter to PLAN International - click here
Letter to World Vision - click here
Letter to Kindernothilfe (Germany) - click here
Letter to CCF Kinderhilfwerk/ChildFund Germany - click here
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