Bristol Students Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation
I know I regularly rave about fantastic school students but I’ve recently had the luck to meet a very exceptional group of young people who go to schools in Bristol. These are students, male and female, who have decided to campaign for stronger action to protect girls from female genital mutilation. They have not been daunted by embarrassment or controversy. They recently made a film, Silent Scream, which won a First Light Award. You can see their film here:
Yesterday I went up to the City Academy Bristol to see the students preparing for The National FGM Conference which they are organizing. It is being held on 14 July at the University of Bristol and there are still places available – for details see http://integratebristol.org.uk/first-national-conference-on-fgm-in-bristol-summer-2012/
This is a groundbreaking event at which teenagers from communities affected by FGM speak out against the practice and launch a campaign of awareness for health and educational professionals.
FGM is typically carried out on girls under the age of 10, and the most common time for it to occur is during the summer holidays when girls can be taken to countries where the practice is carried out. The Bristol students are calling for primary school teachers and health professionals to establish processes to identify and protect girls who are at risk.
This is such a difficult and painful issue – which many professionals and politicians have shied away from – but these young people have real courage, and they are determined to change the world.
You can watch an interview with one of the students, the inspirational Muna Hussain, by following this link: