Last exchange meeting of the Berlin CHANGE Agents

Last exchange meeting of the Berlin CHANGE Agents. Photo: © TERRE DES FEMMESLast exchange meeting of the Berlin CHANGE Agents. Photo: © TERRE DES FEMMESOn Friday, November 10th 2017, the Berlin CHANGE Agents of the EU-funded project CHANGE Plus met for their last official exchange meeting. Isatou Barry, one of the CHANGE Agents, had invited the team to her house to exchange about the project and upcoming events while eating delicious Gambian food. The Berlin team CHANGE is currently preparing for the flag campaign on the international commemoration day "NO to violence against women!", which is taking place on November 23rd, and where Team CHANGE is taking part in a photo campaign at the Brandenburger Tor and in presenting statements on this year's main topic "Protecting girls! Overcome female genital mutilation together". They exchanged views on these statements on Friday.

During this exchange, a lively discussion about FGM, reasons and possible solutions came up. Isatou Barry made clear that in her home country Gambia the reasons for FGM lie in the fact that people are not informed enough about FGM and the consequences. Many people still believe that the practice is good and necessary for women. Her husband agreed with her and also highlighted the unequal treatment of women and men as a reason for FGM. He also said that education could solve the problem and empower women. Fadhumo Musa interjected that religious leaders can also have a major impact on ending FGM. Many aspects of this discussion flowed into the statements for the flag action.

In addition to the flag action, Team Change is also preparing for the final conference of the project on the 23rd of November, where our CHANGE agents talk, among others, about challenges in their work and their experiences. The final conference will bring together FGM activists, community members, policy makers, professionals and academics to exchange experiences, evaluate the results of the CHANGE Plus project and discuss strategies to eradicate female genital mutilation within the European Union.

The conference on November 23rd and a farewell party for Team CHANGE Berlin on December 9th are the last official dates of the project CHANGE Plus. Meanwhile our CHANGE Agents have completed all their activities and exchange meetings. We would like to thank Team CHANGE for their dedication and commitment.