FORWARD believes that changing the attitudes, values and behaviours of FGM affected communities is the most effective way of creating positive and permanent social change. Our community programmes are designed to empower women and girls to say no to FGM, to enable them to act as leaders and advocates in their own communities and ultimately to safeguard girls from harm.
In 2014 we provided training to over 1,290 professionals and frontline staff about FGM and how to develop action plans to safeguard girls at risk in their setting
In 2014 we supported over 60 women to become community leaders against FGM, reaching over 455 people in their communities
How We Do It
- Women’s Health and Leadership Skills Training: Providing a safe space where women can reflect and discuss their social, cultural and religious beliefs and values. This training enables women to speak out against FGM in their communities by improving their communication and leadership skills and developing self-esteem, confidence and resilience. View a video the training in action here.
- Community Health Advocates Programme: Women’s health advocates work among their peers, offering information and support, safeguarding girls from FGM and promoting change within their communities. The programme ensures information on FGM reaches the heart of the community.
- Information-sharing Coffee Mornings: Women from immigrant communities can often feel isolated and alone. At these informal meet-ups, women can share information, talk about their experiences and support one other in a space where they feel they belong.
- Self-care and Listening Skills Training: Women affected by FGM receive emotional support and are shown ways they can care for themselves.
- Community Mobilisation and Outreach: Working to raise awareness, share information and to engage with religious and community leaders, many of whom are men. We organise FGM community conferences, workshops and health bazaars.
- Research: Our research is carried out in response to recommendations by women, involves the community and is aimed at developing sustainable and effective intervention.
- Change Agents: This European project contributes to the prevention of violence against children and women linked to harmful practices in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and UK. It comprises four elements: Motivating people, identifying actions to implement motivation, taking the identified actions and maintaining the actions.