PEACEMAKER INTERNATIONAL’S WORKSHOPS AT THE SAFEGUARDING WEEK 2017

Peacemaker International organised two workshops as part of this year’s Safeguarding Week in Bradford. The purpose was to safeguard our girls.

Target audience: professionals working with women and children and people from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practising communities.

 

The event took place during 2017 safeguarding week in Bradford, West Yorkshire. The focus was to discuss what works and what could be done better on FGM by service providers and the community. The outcome of the workshop showed the calibre of professionals who attended. They were competent and made valuable contributions, based on what has been working for them, that should be shared by other people.

The workshop was coordinated by Yemi Fagborun [CEO of Peacemaker International and Women In Safe Hands (WISH)] who told workshop participants the extent of FGM, her personal experience, that of her clients, geographical spread and how it is believed to have started and why. She talked about what Peacemaker International has done and achieved along with their partners in Bradford and beyond.

 

The awareness raising should not be limited to the practising communities alone.

Another thing Yemi told the participants was that her charity has started to involve young people and men, especially partners of FGM survivors in the FGM crusade. ‘Because they are part of our society, they have a role to play and we must carry them along to achieve our goals’.

We are very lucky in Bradford to have Councillor Joanne Dodds as our champion who helped table a motion to declare Bradford Zero Tolerance for FGM. The decoration was signed on 6th February 2017 at the City Hall. Participants at the workshops had the opportunity to see the pledge sheets.

Participants watched two clips from Peacemaker International FGM illustrations. The videos were produced by young people from NCS (National Citizen Service) who dramatised the issue of FGM. Many people liked it most in their feedback.

All participants came from different backgrounds such as NHS, schools, Local Authority, local/community organisations and local people. An ex-circumciser, as well as a survivor herself, was there and her presence was admired by many people because her skills and experience.

Yemi said that some solicitors find it difficult to defend survivors of FGM who face immigration problems properly. It is a very challenging situation. She referred to the case of Afusat and her two daughters who were deported to Nigeria about four years ago.

Attendees requested for more of this type of workshops and training and some have put their names down for a future training opportunity. Each participant was given a copy of our publication Towards Eradicating FGM.

WHAT WORKS SO FAR?

Peacemaker International has adopted a child-centred and survivor-centred approach. They have been giving talks/training in schools.

 

OTHER POINTS RAISED BY PARTICIPANTS IN THEIR VARIOUS GROUPS ARE CLASSIFIED HEREUNDER:

POINTS RAISED BY PARTICIPANTS IN THEIR VARIOUS GROUPS
10 OCTOBER 2017

EDUCATION/TRAINING:

  • Working with young people and involving men;
  • Informing men and families of the consequences and highlighting long-term health problems;
  • More liaison with schools;
  • More conversations with women from countries that are considered at high risk;
  • Compulsory training for all new health visitors;
  • Educating schools, talking to the young people, open to change;
  • Practice of having a conversation at health visitor ante-natal appt;

 

SUPPORT:

  • Trusting relationships;
  • Building links with the communities;
  • Peacemaker International referral as well as social services;
  • More conversations with women from countries that are considered high risk;
  • More confident about responsibility and policy guidance;
  • Encourage potential victims to make contact support/advice;
  • Encourage anybody subject to FGM to seek support/advice;

 

RAISING AWARENESS:

  • TV coverage;
  • Asking every client/patient;
  • More confidence to discuss issue;
  • Not making people scared to talk;
  • More aware of FGM issues;
  • Raising awareness through events;
  • Spreading the message through social media;

 

COHESIVE FRONT AGAINST FGM:

  • Increased communications in our professions with our colleagues;
  • More confident about responsibility and policy guidance;
  • Knowledge that midwife should have talked about it;
  • More vigilant about overseas travels;
  • Raised awareness of ‘arrangements’ that may be made;
  • The multi-agency approach is working;
  • Legal requirement – now illegal;