Project against Female Genital Mutilation - Sierra Leone
In Sierra Leone 90% of women suffer from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The practice is presented as a path to spiritual purity and better physical hygiene. Women on whom FGM is performed often suffer the physical and psychological consequences for the rest of their lives. In Sierra Leone, FGM is a tradition to prepare young women for marriage and motherhood. The practice is so widespread that uncircumcised women are socially excluded.
To set an example against this cruel tradition, the TOOLS FOR LIFE Foundation supports a project of PeppermintGreen and Amazonian Initiative Movement in the districts of Port Loko and Tonkolilili. Around 6,000 women and men in the communities are being trained in hygiene, personal hygiene and the negative consequences of Female Genital Mutialtion. In addition, various activities in the form of workshops, radio programmes or group discussions are used to raise awareness of FGM.
Another measure to protect young women is the construction of a local water supply system. This makes better hygiene possible and prevents the women from having to travel long distances. In most cases, the young women are responsible for fetching fresh water within the family. To do so, they often have to travel several kilometres on difficult and unsafe roads. On these routes, the girls run the risk of becoming victims of sexual violence. Outside their village they are also more likely to be pushed into FGM by sowies (circumcisers). The construction of a local water supply through wells is therefore not only a measure against FGM, but also against sexual violence against these girls and young women.
For this reason, PeppermintGreen and Amazonian Initiative Movement, together with TOOLS FOR LIFE and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, are building 30 wells in 30 communities.
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