The European Parliament estimates that there are around 500,000 girls and women currently living in the EU who have undergone FGM and another 180,000 at risk of being subjected to the practice. This means that FGM does not only need to be addressed in countries where it is traditionally most prevalent, but that it has become a European issue, too.Therefore, the CHANGE Plus project aims at promoting behaviour change towards the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation in practising communities across the EU.
The project is coordinated by TERRE DES FEMMES, jointly implemented by seven European partner organisations and two African associated partners, and co-funded by the European Union.
CHANGE Plus builds on the multiplier approach of the previous CHANGE project (which ran from 2013 until 2015) by training persons of influence from practising communities as so-called CHANGE Agents: 48 persons from different African communities in four European countries will be recruited by the partner organisations and trained on issues related to FGM. Afterwards, they will act as multipliers and sensitise their communities to legal, cultural, religious, social and health dimensions of FGM in order to promote behaviour change.
Furthermore, the project also targets the institutional level. Experienced CHANGE Agents who already participated in the predecessor project will pass a special Leadership training to become so-called CHANGE Champions, which will enable them to advocate the support of survivors and the protection of girls at risk by seeking dialogue with key professionals and politicians at the local, national and European level.
For more information on CHANGE Plus, please visit www.change-agent.eu.