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This little girl was with her mum who was recovering in the Barbra May Maternity Hospital in Afar, Ethiopia, and asked to be snapped during our scoping trip last week. Surgeon Dr Omar said most women come in with complications related to FGM. 
"It’s the first question we ask” he said.
Global Media Campaign joins Ethiopia's FGM struggle as the country's National Road Map plans to end FGM and Child Marriage by 2025. We will start  with partners in Afar and Somali - two regions with the highest rates of FGM. 
The Deputy Minister of Communications (Somali Region)  tells GMC who the main influencers should be to open up conversations on FGM in the media.
School's out in Jigjiga (left) where our partners Norwegian Church Aid are one of the key players in ending FGM, bringing girls and boys together in school clubs to explain the dangers of FGM.  The kids get it - but the grandmother's need more convincing "one of the keys in this region is to have religious leaders on the radio telling the grandmother it is not a religious requirement". Deputy Minister for Communications.

And on the right the FGM Media Activists from Somali region of Ethiopia gather at the end of our one day taster on best practice in media campaigning hosted by Amref and Norwegian Church Aid. "Getting religious and clan leaders on the media condemning FGM will be key here,"  says Norwegian Church Aid's 
Mengistie Tegenie who helped write the National Roadmap to end FGM and Child marriage .
Ethiopia's Deputy Minister of Communication (Somali region), Hibo Ahmed Omer, a former economist and new minister in a government made up of 50% women ministers welcomes the Global Media Campaign to one of the country's Somali regions with the highest level of FGM.
She wants to see Ethiopia's five year plan road map to eradicate FGM and Child marriage implemented as quickly as possible and feels using media will help speed that process up.
For every £1 spent on Direct Action Grants in 2018, 2273 people were reached
Mali - 16 Days of Activism
Since the last newsletter we have sent out
20 grants!
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Mali graduates used their Direct Action Grants to present the medical evidence for ending FGM. Traditional leaders also spoke of it's cultural hold and advised on why it was no longer necessary.  Alongside media, they also facilitated initiatives such as a slam poetry forum where young artists could share poetry with messages against FGM.
Assitan Lountandy Keïta ran a one hour TV discussion on the history and consequences of FGM with traditional leader Sorry Sarre, Assitan Keïta (GMC graduate), Dr Mohamed Cissé, and Fanta Cissé (host). The debate reached an audience of 1 Million
Programming including Live radio, TV debates and round tables on the short and long term effects of FGM reached between 500,000 and 1 million people.

The grants to support the 16 days of activism were made possible by our partners Plan Mali, Plan Bornefonden and Norwegian Church Aid.
Doctor Cissé from Mali tells an audience of 1 million that cutting communities justify FGM using 3 main arguments, the psycho-sexual, economic and religious. And these are what need to be broken down and tackled.
Maimouna Camara's at the end of a one hour radio show on Radio Siguida Kukan that reached 500,000 people. Sorry Sarry sat down with Dr Togola Karim and activist Assitan Keïta to talk about the consequences of FGM.
Since we began work in 2014, the Global Media Campaign has trained over 66 religious leaders, 122 journalists and 187 activists across 9 countries.
Soroptimist Six

Last month we confirmed our partnership with Soroptimist International to trial a new fundraising model to raise money to sustain the work of six of our graduates in five countries.
This month we introduced the six women on our social media platforms and the donations have already started pouring in to help them continue to do what they do so well, for up to two years, through our Direct Action Grants.

The Soroptimist Six are dedicated to being a voice for the voiceless and driving the campaign against FGM in their communities. You can follow this exciting partnership on our social media where you can find out more about our six media activists.
Check out our film with SI President-Elect Sharon Fisher

Shout outs to...

Thank you Nafissatou Diop (Coordinator of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation) for all of your support and encouragement over the past six years, and to Tsehay Gette (National Programme Director, Ethiopia) and Abraham Gelaw (UNFPA Comms, Ethiopia) for the warm welcome and guidance before we headed out to the regions.
 
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